San Luis Obispo police officers have arrested a Cal Poly student in connection with a sexual assault case at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity on May 7.
Joseph Trupiano, 23, came into the police department with his lawyer at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) press release. Trupiano, a Cal Poly agribusiness senior, is also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, according to the fraternity’s website.
According to the release, Trupiano was identified as the suspect in the case by SLOPD detectives during their investigation. He was taken into custody at the police department and brought to the San Luis Obispo County jail. There, Trupiano was booked for sexual assault. His bail was set at $100,000.
Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity has been sanctioned by the university and the fraternity headquarters, and is not allowed to continue any activities until further notice.
Although an arrest was made, there are still questions about how Cal Poly’s greek life will work to prevent further instances of sexual assault.
Shawn Burn, a Cal Poly psychology professor and Sexual Assault-Free Environment Resource (SAFER) adviser, said she is interested to see what steps Cal Poly’s fraternities and sororities will take to raise awareness of sexual assaults.
“Incidents such as the one on Saturday night contribute to negative stereotypes of our fraternities and should motivate honorable fraternity men to join the sexual assault prevention fight,” Burn said. “We need a greater commitment from our Greek community to sexual assault prevention.”
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong issued an email response today, voicing his concerns and plans to get to the root of the alleged rape at the fraternity as well as the alleged rape reported Thursday by a young woman living in Poly Canyon Village. In his email, Armstrong wrote that the campus should “strive to learn from this incident” and in a phone interview said he is “shocked and dismayed” by both incidences.