UCF fraternity brother accused of raping victim at party

Alpha Tau Omega member arrested on sexual battery charge

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A University of Central Florida fraternity brother is accused of raping a person during a "New Years in July" party the organization was hosting at its on-campus house, according to UCF police. 

The victim, who was not identified, said he or she attended a party at the Alpha Tau Omega house on July 22. The victim wanted to keep his or her friends nearby because the victim had been raped two years prior and did not want to be put in a "bad situation." 

ATO brother Alexander Garces, 22, approached the victim and asked him or her to come upstairs with him and another man, who the report identified as a former UCF student. News 6 is not naming the other man allegedly in the room because he has not been charged with a crime. 

The victim said he or she felt comfortable going upstairs with Garces because the two had been friends. Immediately after closing the door, the other man locked it and Garces began playing music on his cellphone, the affidavit said.

The victim sat on a couch, and a few minutes later, Garces grabbed the victim by the legs and pulled, forcing the victim onto his or her back, according to the arrest report.

Garces began touching the victim sexually and when the victim tried to stop him, Garces grabbed the victim's hair to force him or her to the ground, UCF police said.

The victim said he or she performed oral sex on Garces in hopes of stopping the attack, according to the affidavit.

Police said Garces continued to be aggressive with the victim, pushing him or her to the floor. The other man approached the victim and removed his or her underwear, the report said.

The victim punched Garces in the ribs, to which he reportedly replied, "I've never seen you like this before, what's going on?"

The victim told Garces, "I've been raped before, I'm not about to be in a situation like this ... don't do this to me," according to the report.

Police said that's when Garces grabbed his cellphone and left the room, leaving the victim alone with the other man.

That man is accused of raping the victim and putting his hands around his or her throat and mouth to stop the victim from screaming. The victim said the man stopped abruptly and left the room, at which point the victim fled from the party and tried to get a ride home.

UCF police said the agency plans to arrest the second man the victim named in connection with the crime. A spokesperson said the man does not live in Central Florida.

Police said surveillance video from that night shows the victim crying outside of the fraternity house as several males try to console him or her.

The victim went to the UCF Police Department on Friday to report the rape. 

Garces was arrested Monday evening at the ATO house. He is charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment.

During a court appearance Wednesday morning, a judge set Garces' bond at $15,000 for the first count and $150 for the second. He was ordered to not have any contact with the victim. 

He acknowledged that he has been trespassed from UCF and will stay with his mother in Merritt Island with his family. He bonded out of jail Wednesday afternoon.

ATO issued a statement Tuesday about the arrest, saying Garces has been suspended.

“Officials with the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity learned of the police investigation on Saturday, and the chapter immediately suspended the man. ATO is conducting an internal investigation and will assist local authorities and university officials as requested. The alleged assault reportedly occurred during a July 22nd party at the chapter house. The party was approved by UCF and held in accordance to strict university guidelines.”

In since-deleted tweets, UCF's chapter of ATO boasted that the New Years in July party would be "the biggest on-campus party of the summer." 

Some students on campus Tuesday said the recent arrest is concerning.

"I don't know how you control those types of parties, they just need to chill out," student Scott Reddy said.