USC

Sigma Nu member temporarily suspended for alleged sexual assault, USC announces

President Carol Folt and Acting Vice President for Student Affairs Monique Allard said the student had been suspended Tuesday, before DPS announced the report to the student body.

The Sigma Mu fraternity house.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 9:35 p.m. to reflect the Los Angeles Police Department’s naming of a suspect in their investigation.

Content Warning: This story mentions a report of sexual assault.

The Sigma Nu member accused of sexual assault was placed on interim suspension Tuesday as the university conducts its investigation, USC President Carol Folt and Acting Vice President for Student Affairs Monique Allard announced Friday night in an email to the campus community.

“Such behaviors are deeply disturbing, they hurt people and go against everything we stand for as a community,” Folt and Allard said. “We are sorry for the pain and anguish this is causing.”

The Los Angeles Police Department identified Ryan Schiffilea, the Sigma Nu president, as a suspect Friday in the sexual assault case, Detective and LAPD spokesperson Meghan Aguilar confirmed to Annenberg Media. Schiffilea has not been arrested or charged but was questioned by detectives this week following the report of sexual assault on Oct. 16, Aguilar said.

The Department of Public Safety announced the reports of sexual assault and drugging at a Sigma Nu fraternity party to the campus community Wednesday night. Since then, Sigma Nu has been placed on interim suspension as the university and the Los Angeles Police Department conduct their investigations.

Following the interim suspension, Sigma Nu cannot host or organize any activities at any location.

The fraternity also announced on Instagram that the student accused of sexual assault had been placed on suspension at the fraternity, for both the campus and the national chapters.

Folt and Allard wrote that information about the party, which occurred last month, was obtained through confidential reporting at the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Services (RSVP).

Some students responded on social media, saying the original email from DPS placed expectations on students to protect themselves from sexual assault. Folt and Allard wrote that while they understood some students felt “disturbed” by the language used, some messages are required to include certain information. Administrators will look for ways to improve the wording of these messages, according to the email.

The email encouraged those who may have information related to the investigation to alert DPS at (213) 740-6000 for the University Park Campus, (213) 485-6571 for the LAPD Southwest Division and (323) 442-1000 for the Health Sciences Campus.

Any student who has been a victim of sexual assault is encouraged to seek out the Sexual Assault and Survivor Support resources offered by USC.