UCF suspends fraternity amid rape allegations

Alpha Tau Omega brother charged with sexual battery for July incident

ORLANDO, Fla.The University of Central Florida temporarily suspended the university chapter of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity Wednesday, two days after one of its brothers was charged with sexually battering a person at an on-campus party.

UCF’s Office of Student Conduct sent a letter to the fraternity members Wednesday with a notice of temporary suspension.

ATO brother Alexander Garces, 22, is accused of raping a person during a "New Years in July" party the fraternity was hosting at its on-campus house, according to UCF police. 

Garces was arrested Monday evening at the ATO house. He is charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment. He posted bond Wednesday and will stay with his mother in Merritt Island.

Effective immediately, the Eta Rho Chapter of the frat “is prohibited from participating in on or off campus fundraisers, socials, mixers, intramural competitions, recruitment, receptions, service projects, conferences, etc,” according to the letter, signed by the Director of Student Conduct Michael

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.

A hearing is schedule for Aug. 23 to determine the status of the interim suspension.

ATO released a statement Wednesday night saying the fraternity will continue to work with UCF officials and will take part in the Aug. 23 hearing.

In the statement, ATO said another man, whom the victim said was in the room during the rape, is an alumnus of the chapter and that his membership has been suspended by the fraternity.