2nd arrest made in rape at UCF frat party

Antonio Candido arrested on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment

ORLANDO, Fla. – A second man was arrested Wednesday in connection with an alleged rape at a fraternity party at the University of Central Florida.

Antonio Candido, 22, a UCF alumnus from Boca Raton, was arrested on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment after he turned himself in to authorities. 

Alexander Garces, 22, a senior at UCF and a member of Alpha Tau Omega, was arrested Monday at the ATO campus house on the same charges. He posted bond on Wednesday and will stay with his mother on Merritt Island, officials said.

According to an arrest affidavit, the incident occurred last month during a "New Years in July" party that the fraternity hosted at its on-campus house on July 22. 

The victim, whose name and sex was redacted from the report, told police that he or she went upstairs with Garces, and Candido followed closely behind and locked the door to the bedroom the three were in.

Garces is accused of being forceful with the victim while touching him or her sexually. The victim tried to stop the attack, but Garces pulled his or her hair and forced the victim to the ground, according to the report.

Police said Candido joined in the attack by pulling off the victim's clothes, which caused the victim to punch Garces in the ribs.

"I've never seen you like this before, what's going on?" Garces told the victim, according to the report.

The victim said he or she didn't want to be attacked. Garces left the room, but Candido stayed behind and pinned the victim to the bed, the affidavit said.

Candido covered the victim's mouth with his hand and clutched the victim's throat to cover the sound of his or her screams, according to police. Authorities said Candido then raped the victim.

Police said a fraternity brother who was also in the house at the time of the attack heard the victim screaming and consoled him or her after the attack.

"The serious charges reflect that we have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual violence,” UCF Police Chief Richard Beary said. "We must be clear that sexual assault and all forms of violence do not have a place at UCF."

During a court appearance Thursday morning, a judge set Candido's bond at $20,000 for the sexual battery charge and $150 on the false imprisonment charge.

Candido's mother told the court that she drove him from Boca Raton to the Orange County Jail so he could surrender. He will return to Boca Raton when and if he bonds out of jail.

ATO released a statement Wednesday night, saying Candido is an alumnus of the chapter and his membership has been suspended. Garces has also been suspended from the fraternity.

“Officials with the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity can confirm the chapter at UCF has been placed on interim suspension by the university. The fraternity will continue to work with UCF officials, and will take part in the August 23rd hearing.  The second man being sought by police is an alumnus of the chapter, and his membership has been suspended by the fraternity,” fraternity officials said.

UCF has temporarily suspended the university chapter of ATO. A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 23 to determine the status of the interim suspension.

Officials with the Office of Student Conduct said the fraternity is accused of violating rules of conduct in the Golden Rule student handbook, including withholding information, disruptive conduct and alcohol-related misconduct.

University officials said two other UCF fraternities and a sorority are also currently on interim suspension.

Lambda Theta Phi  fraternity was suspended in June following a tip to the university's hazing hotline alleging that pledges were forced to live together, that underage members consumed alcohol and that one fraternity member had sex with a person who is under 21 who was too drunk to consent.

Theta Chi fraternity, which was kicked out of its on-campus house in 2015, is facing accusations related to misleading university or law enforcement officials, disruptive conduct and alcohol-related misconduct.

Lambda Theta Alpha, a Latina sorority, is accused of physically and mentally hazing at least one person.

Exact details of the allegations against Theta Chi and Lambda Theta Alpha were not immediately available.

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