Greek Life suspended at ASU following alleged rape

JONESBORO, Ark. – No more social events are to take place until April 1 at Arkansas State University, according to a letter from Greek Life officials.

This suspension is following an alleged rape said to have taken place on Friday, Feb. 10 at a registered party. Social events, parties, formals, or unapproved/non-registered social events are all included in the suspension.

The time is being used to host two Social & Risk Reduction Training sessions – one for fraternity members and one for sorority members. 100 percent of fraternity and sorority members must attend or the chapter will lose all social privileges until Fall, 2017. 

The fraternity meeting will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, at Centennial Hall. The sorority meeting will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at Centennial Hall.

The Alleged Incident

Thursday night, Feb. 9, a girl attended a registered party at the Alpha Gamma Roe frat house, 3405 Aggie Road, according to the probable cause affidavit. As the party delved past the midnight hours, she went to a bedroom to retrieve her cellphone, she told police, when a man she knew for over a year followed her into the room. The man was James K. Chambless, 20, of Lonoke.

Chambless kissed the victim, who returned the kiss, the probable cause affidavit states. However, she stated he began “going too far,” and she told him, “No. Stop!” The complainant said instead of stopping, Chambless grabbed her around the neck, began strangling her, and slammed her onto the bed. She said she partially lost consciousness and could feel Chambless pull her to the side of the bed and remove her pants.

The alleged victim stated she began fighting with him, but the suspect restrained her legs and vaginally raped her. The victim stated afterward, he laid on top of her for a while and then got up to exit the room, which is when she gathered her clothing from the floor and also exited.

Chambless voluntarily came to University Police Department and waived his rights to an attorney to speak with police. During a video recorded interview, the affidavit says he told police he had sex with the alleged victim but he said it was consensual. Chambless said he was very intoxicated and, “that he wanted to drink that night and wanted to find a girl.” He said both he and the victim had “drunk sex” and “things got carried away.”

Chambless reportedly told police the alleged victim “may have said no, but she didn’t say NO! and no force was used.”

13163270_gA witness stated she arrived to pick up the girl that evening and noticed Chambless exit the bathroom wearing his socks and boxer shorts, appearing to be severely intoxicated. She said, “James was not on planet Earth,” and that he was acting aggressive the night of the incident. She was also previously familiar with the suspect.

The alleged victim reported to the emergency room on Wednesday, Feb. 15, stating she was sexually assaulted the prior Thursday night. She reported neck pain and said she was strangled. ER staff noted bruising on the left side of her neck, “Which would correspond with strangling.”

The following day, Feb. 16, the girl came to University Police Department and reported she had been raped on Feb. 10 in the early morning hours. The victim said she had delayed in coming forward to report this because she was afraid.

Chambless is out on bond from Craighead County Detention Center.

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