A Temple University student faces several charges including attempted rape and attempted sexual assault in connection with an alleged incident in February at a fraternity house.
Ari Goldstein, 21, was arrested earlier this week at Logan Airport in Boston when he was about to board a flight to Israel.
“This is a very, very serious crime,” said Ben Waxman, director of communications for the Philadelphia District’s Attorney’s office. “He was under investigation. He knew he was under investigation, but he was still trying to board a flight to Israel.”
Goldstein’s attorney, Perry de Marco Sr., doesn’t dispute that his client had been leaving the country. He told CNN that Goldstein had checked to see if it was OK for him to take the planned trip.
“There was no legal impediment to him taking that trip because no charges were filed,” said the defense attorney, who accuses the district attorney’s office of creating the flight crisis.
Since Goldstein’s arrest at the airport, he has been charged. According to a statement on the district attorney’s website, he was arraigned Wednesday on charges including attempted rape, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, simple assault, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and intimidation, stemming from an alleged incident at his fraternity. According to the university’s newspaper, The Temple News, Goldstein used to be the president of Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Temple suspended the fraternity in April, saying it had received “multiple credible reports from various sources alleging underage drinking, the excessive use of alcohol, possibly drugs and sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, during social activities at Alpha Epsilon Pi.”
Goldstein is accused of forcing a female into a room at the fraternity house where he allegedly tried to sexually assault her.
De Marco said that his client “denies these charges wholeheartedly.”
The lawyer said while #MeToo is a worthy cause, a lot of young women are jumping on the bandwagon. “I call it, ‘allegations of opportunity,’” de Marco said.
He said prosecutors accused the fraternity of running a sex terror house at the bail hearing Wednesday.
“If that’s the case, then charge all of them,” he said.
De Marco said his client is an engineering student with a 3.8 GPA, who doesn’t have any kind of criminal record.
Goldstein was released from jail Thursday after his family posted 10% of the $2 million bail, reported CNN affiliate KYW.