July 14, 2016

Ballinger ’17 Indicted for First-Degree Sexual Abuse

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Former Cornell student Wolfgang Ballinger ’17 — who stands accused of sexually assaulting a female student at the Psi Upsilon fraternity in the early hours of January 31— was indicted on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse Thursday morning.

The indictment states that Ballinger “subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion,” according to The Ithaca Voice.

Ballinger allegedly attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim, forced her to have oral sex and sexually violated her with his fingers, according to court documents previously released. The student reported that she repeatedly refused these advances, saying “I don’t want to” and “I’m too intoxicated,” the documents said.

In January, Ballinger — a junior in the School of Hotel Administration and Psi Upsilon’s president — was accused of first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree sexual abuse, The Sun previously reported. This indictment does not address the other charges.

In May, Ballinger filed a civil suit accusing the University of a ‘“flawed” investigation of sexual assault cases, arguing that Cornell’s investigations do not comply with state guidelines, specifically violating New York State Education Law. This law’s mandates include that a defendant be able to testify and present evidence at a hearing.

The University is currently revising its handling of sexual assault allegations and will adopt a new system beginning August 31, according to court documents. In early May, a second student, identified only as “John Doe,” also filed a suit against the University, alleging unlawful conduct in a sexual assault case.

A temporary restraining order, which the Tompkins County Supreme Court granted Ballinger in May, prevented Cornell from adjudicating his claims until June 30, when the court was expected to review his petition, The Sun previously reported.