The case against a Western Kentucky University student accused of raping a woman at a fraternity house has been sent to a grand jury.
Warren District Judge Sam Potter found probable cause Wednesday during a preliminary hearing to bind over the case against Benjamin Massingille, 21, of Tompkinsville.
Massingille was arrested Monday by the Western Kentucky University Police Department on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree unlawful imprisonment.
The charges stem from an incident early Feb. 27 at the Sigma Nu fraternity house on Center Street.
WKUPD Officer Ben Miciotto testified via video conferencing during the court hearing about responding to TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital about 6 a.m. Feb. 27 regarding a reported sexual assault.
Miciotto said the woman identified as the victim told police she was at a party at the fraternity house and was in a bedroom with someone named Ben, telling police she did not know his last name.
About 2 a.m. that night, the woman and Massingille became involved in a verbal argument.
“The victim stated she was scared and texting her friend to come pick her up because Massingille was intoxicated and enraged,” Miciotto said.
The woman reported that Massingille forced her onto the bed, took off his pants and forced her to perform a sex act.
Miciotto said the woman was unable to get away from Massingille and reported that he then took off her pants and raped her.
The woman’s friend then arrived at the fraternity house.
“Her friend stated that she could hear the victim inside screaming for help,” Miciotto said Wednesday.
The friend reported that she banged on the door to the bedroom, but Massingille said they were busy.
Miciotto testified that some unidentified males at the party were able to make their way into the bedroom, where the woman said that Massingille would not let her go and raped her.
Miciotto testified that hospital staff confirmed to him that the woman’s injuries were consistent with those resulting from sexual assault.
Massingille was taken into custody Monday and declined to give a statement to police, Miciotto said.
Questioned by Massingille’s attorney, Ken Garrett, Miciotto testified that the woman told him she met Massingille at a party six weeks before the incident and they had messaged each other occasionally on Facebook.
Asked by Garrett if he had been made aware of claims that Massingille and the woman had known each other as far back as September, had any prior sexual encounters or that Massingille had sent a Snapchat message to the woman on the night of the incident asking her to come to the fraternity house, Miciotto testified that he was not aware of that information.
Miciotto said police are still attempting to obtain text messages and other electronic communications as part of the investigation.
The investigation and arrest prompted a response Wednesday from Sigma Nu’s national organization.
“Sigma Nu fraternity is aware of an allegation of sexual assault related to a Western Kentucky University student member of the Eta Rho Chapter of Sigma Nu,” Sigma Nu director of communications Drew Logsdon said in an email to the Daily News. “An investigation by local law enforcement is ongoing, with which the fraternity is cooperating. The student’s fraternity membership has been suspended by the fraternity, pending completion of law enforcement proceedings.”
Massingille is currently free on a $25,000 cash bond.
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