CCU frat member among 5 arrested for sexual assault; frat suspended

CCU frat member among 5 arrested for sexual assault; frat suspended

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The five men accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a house party in Conway earlier this month  include two current Coastal Carolina University students, a graduate of CCU, and two applicants to the university, a CCU representative confirmed Wednesday.

One of the current students is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, which has since received a cease of operations letter from the school.

Javon Lorenz Johnson, 21, is currently enrolled for spring 2016 classes at CCU, and is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Johnson, along with the other current CCU student, 24-year-old Raheen Linnen, were restricted from campus immediately upon notice of their arrests, according to university officials. This was a "measure taken during the administrative process to protect all parties and the integrity of the investigation."

"In order to ensure that there's not a continuation of that situation or in order to ensure there's not a hostile situation on our campus, that's where the restriction measure goes into play," Dean of Students Travis E. Overton said of the university's general policies.

Overton also confirmed he sent Kappa Alpha Psi a cease of operations letter dated March 14, two days after the alleged assault. The letter reads in part: "This suspension is effective immediately and is a result of concerning reports of behavior and potential violations received by the University."

CCU launched its own investigation separate from the Horry County Police Department in the case to determine if university policies have been violated.

"In any case when someone is looking specifically at a policy, we look at each incident and determine the actual actions the university is going to take based on the details and findings of that particular incident," Dean of Students Travis E. Overton said.

Overton said CCU works to educate students about sexual assaults starting before they get to campus for their first semesters.

"They take an online program which is called Haven," Overton said. "Haven is a sexual violence education program to provide students a framework of understanding what sexual violence is and how to report it."

Overton said sexual assault awareness and prevention programs then continue throughout students' academic careers.

WMBF News reporter Amy Lipman went to home where the alleged sexual assault happened in Conway on Wednesday to get comment on the charges and suspension of the fraternity. When suspect Javon Johnson saw a WMBF News crew filming from a public street, he became irate, and is seen trying to grab WMBF News photographer Jonathan Dick's camera.

The other three men accused of the sexual assault are:

-Matthew Tyler Goodwin, 25, who graduated from CCU in May 2014

-Dequan Rashawn Paulin, 21, a CCU applicant but not a current student

-Roman Avedis Ferguson, 20, a CCU applicant but not a current student

All five men are charged by police with criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping, according to jail records.

The victim told police that after arriving at the party at about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, she went into the bathroom. She says two of the men went in after her, pulled her dress up, and began sexually assaulting her one at a time. She told the suspect that she did not want to "do this," and the subjects continued anyway.

According to arrest warrants, the victim was taken into a bedroom, where the assaults continued, and several people were prevented from entering. The incident lasted for about an hour, she said.

WMBF News was unable to contact any of the other suspects in this case.

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