Three members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity have confessed to breaking in and vandalizing the Beta Theta Pi fraternity House on Christmas Eve, police and university officials said.According to a police spokesman, one suspect confessed to Dean of Students Nancy Truesdell, and identified the other two after being contacted by Appleton Police for questioning.
Police, looking for potential witnesses to the break-in, approached one of the three fraternity members after discovering they were on campus on Christmas Eve.
Neither police nor university officials have named the three students and no charges have been filed in the incident, though Judicial Board litigation is pending. If a criminal complaint is filed, the amount of property damage in this incident could qualify it as a Class-D felony.
If charged and convicted, the suspects could face possible jail time, community service, or required to pay monetary damages.
Fraternity representatives and university officials said they will wait until the conclusion of the university’s Judicial Board proceedings before deciding whether to file charges in the matter.
“After the J-board decision, we will redress this issue,” said Beta chapter president Bill Haas.
Truesdell declined to discuss specifics of the case, stating that the university only handles violations of university policy, and not the law. As a result, any criminal charges would come from the Appleton District Attorney and not Lawrence. She would not rule out any civil action.
“I would hope that any violation of campus policy would be resolved by our internal judicial processes. We don’t deal with crimes,” she said.
According to Haas, the three suspects, following their confession and in the company of the police, read a letter of apology to the Betas.
According to Appleton Police spokesman John DeLong, the three suspects were returning from the bars to the Delt house when they decided to break into the Beta house.
DeLong said the students entered the house by breaking a basement window and entering there. Once in the house, the suspects threw food throughout the basement and first floor, broke several windows, as well as a glass display case, and some lights.
They also poured liquid cleaning solution over the house’s leather couches. One student’s room was also vandalized, as was a computer monitor.
The only item stolen during the break-in, the Beta chapter flag, has not been yet recovered, but its location is known. One of the suspects has since admitted to having the flag in his off-campus home, DeLong said.