HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A fraternity at Penn State University has been suspended as police investigate allegations that members used a private, invitation-only Facebook page to post photos of nude and partly nude women, some apparently asleep or passed out.
A former member of Kappa Delta Rho at the university’s flagship campus in State College tipped police off to the page, telling them in January that it had been used by members to share photos of “unsuspecting victims, drug sales and hazing,” according to a copy of a police warrant obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
The ex-member also provided authorities with printouts from the page.
Police said anyone who posted the photos could face arrest on charges that include invasion of privacy.
An investigation of the informant’s computer “yielded information on two victims whose images would rise to the level of criminal action,” State College police Lt. Keith Robb said Tuesday.
Facebook was contacted to disable the site and to obtain more information for the investigation, Robb said.
Some of the postings involved nude women in “sexual or embarrassing positions,” the warrant reads. “It appears from the photos provided that the individuals in the photos are not aware that the photos had been taken.”
Penn State’s Intrafraternity Council issued a statement confirming that the Kappa Delta Rho had been suspended and said the fraternity would eventually be summoned to the council for full review of its conduct.
The national leadership of Kappa Delta Rho suspended the chapter for the remainder of the semester pending a membership review. The leaders are “committed to hold our brothers accountable for their actions,” said Joseph Rosenberg, the executive director.
According to the ex-frat member who went to police, a second page dubbed “2.0” was started in about April 2014 after a woman depicted on the first Facebook page, called “Covert Business Transactions,” complained.
The informant said the woman was visiting the fraternity when a member accidentally left his Facebook page logged in, and she noticed a photograph of her topless that was posted to the group.
The investigation was first reported by television station WJAC in Johnstown.
Following that report, university spokeswoman Lisa Powers said both the university and the national fraternity began investigating because the photographs “are in direct violation of the standards and values of a recognized student organization and/or a fraternity at Penn State.”
Powers did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning.
According to the warrant, the fraternity’s page had 144 active members that included both students and alumni.
The photographs accompanying the warrant included images of fully nude and partly clothed women and a scene of a man appearing to grope a woman, her pants partly pulled down.
Police said the informant who visited the police station provided brief explanations about individual photos. One, he said, showed a woman vomiting in a member’s room. Another, he said, showed “the type of stuff that happens at KDR.” Two other images showed strippers hired by the fraternity for a party.
Some of the posts included with the warrant were images of cellphone text exchanges, including one from a woman apparently concerned about a casual sexual encounter the night before and whether birth control was used.
Associated Press writers Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh and Mike Sisak in Philadlephia contributed to this report.