Report says sex photo subject put on 'social probation' at TI; U., police unable to identify photographer| Dec 15, 2014
The Princeton Police Department’s investigation into the Tiger Inn sex photo scandal was ultimately closed because neither student depicted in the photo wished to pursue the matter, according to a copy of the investigation report obtained by The Daily Princetonian through the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.
The report, which was finalized after the case was closed on Dec. 5, shows that both the police and the University had not been able to identify the person who took the photo of a sexual act in the TI basement. TI president Oliver Bennett ’15 and the male student depicted in the photo told police they did not know who took the picture.
The University considers sexual exploitation the recording, photographing and distribution, among other types of conduct, of “sexual images or sexual information without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved,” according to Rights, Rules, Responsibilities.
In addition, the report says the male student – a senior TI member – told police he was given a “strike” and put on “social probation” for three weeks by the club as a result of the incident, meaning he could not attend member events for three weeks.
The timeline of the report seems to show he was put on probation both after the picture had been sent to the listserv and after the incident had been reported in the media. He was still on probation on Dec. 3, when the interview took place, according to the report, though the photo was sent out on Oct. 12, about six weeks earlier. The club’s rules prohibit sex acts in public places within the clubhouse.
The police effectively began their investigation after receiving a copy of the photograph from an anonymous source on Nov. 17.
The photo shows a female student, a freshman, performing oral sex on a male student and was sent to the TI email listserv by then-club vice president Adam Krop ’15. The subject line was “Ivy Blows,” and the content of the email continued, “And apparently so does this Asian chick... .” Krop was fired from his position in late November because of the email. The police report also identified Krop as the sender of the email.
Neither Krop nor his attorney responded to police attempts to contact him as part of the investigation, according to the police report.
Vice President for Campus Life Cynthia Cherrey told a police officer that the University had interviewed over 30 people about the incident, but also could not determine who had taken the photograph, the report said. The University announced last week that “several” students had been charged with violating University policy, but declined to identify how many.
University spokesperson Martin Mbugua declined to answer questions on Monday about how many of those 30 people had been charged or whether there were updates to the University’s investigation not contained in the police report.
TI President Oliver Bennett’15 told the police the person who provided the photograph to Krop was a female TI member identified as “Hodie.” Bennett did not respond to a request for comment about this statement for this article.
The Daily Princetonian could not independently verify that there is a TI member or a student called, or who goes by the nickname, Hodie.
The report also shows that neither of the students depicted in the photo responded to initial police attempts to contact them. The female student called back in early December and told police she did not wish to pursue the matter and that the interaction with the male student had been consensual. She added she would ask the male student to speak with them as they had continued to stay in contact after the incident.
The male student told police he and the female student had been intimately involved for about a month before the party. They were both intoxicated during the party, and while dancing, the female student had pulled the male’s sweatpants down two separate times, the report says. Though they were in secluded areas, the student said, they were not alone either time.
The male student said he pulled his pants back up again both times and that eventually the two left together. The male student also said he didn’t know at what point the photo was taken, that he was not aware of it and did not know who had taken it.
He also indicated that though his consent to the female student was influenced by his level of intoxication, nothing happened against his will.
Neither the female nor the male student, who are named in the report, responded to a request for comment for this article.
The police also spoke to graduate board member David Silverstein’88, who told police that both the board and the University were conducting their own investigation. The TI investigation had found that an interaction “approximately 15 seconds in length” had taken place between the two students, during which the female student had pulled down the male student’s pants to perform oral sex.
He told police the board was “concerned about the event and the indication of a desensitized sexual and alcohol related culture among the student members and [was] working to rectify it.”
The investigation report contains summaries of interviews with Silverstein; TI House Manager Bob Belsky, who gave the police a tour of the basement area where the photograph was taken; Cherrey; Bennett; and the male and female students in the photo.