YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) — Parties are banned at Delta Tau Delta at Eastern Michigan University for the next 10 years. Thursday, the fraternity reached a settlement with the Washtenaw County’s Prosecutor’s Office and the city of Ypsilanti.
According to the order, alcohol isn’t allowed at any of their properties and gatherings are limited to five guests.
”We feel like today is a big win for us in this lawsuit,” Eli Savit, the Washtenaw County prosecutor told 7 Action News.
He said he's satisfied the preliminary injunction against Delta Tau Delta Fraternity is now permanent for the next decade.
7 Action News previously reported on a number of sexual assault investigations at fraternities at EMU.
Savit said there’s been 15 reported sexual assaults since 2014.
“What we saw with this particular fraternity was a whole host of sexual assaults that were linked to the parties, that were linked to the underage drinking, that were linked frankly to a culture in which there was no bystander intervention even when there was sexually aggressive behavior,” Savit explained.
There’s routine prosecution, but the prosecutor said the settlement is geared toward prevention.
Under the order, members of the fraternity must do an annual training for “sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention and responsible alcohol consumption.” Also, Delta Tau Delta will be required to raise funds for a nonprofit that helps sexual assault survivors.
“At the end of the day, the best thing that any of us can do is to stop harm from happening in the first place,” Savit said. “That’s what this lawsuit was geared toward doing.”
If the fraternity doesn’t abide by the order, Savit said there’s the possibility of sanctions and escalating penalties. On the other hand, he said the prosecutor's office has the discretion to shorten that 10-year restriction as it monitors the fraternity's progress.