BUSTED?

02.05.16 7:12 PM ET

Cornell Frat President Busted on Rape, Sex-Assault Charges

Wolfgang Ballinger is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Cornell’s Psi Upsilon frat house.

The president of Cornell’s top-ranked fraternity has been arrested on charges of sexual assault. The university announced the arrest of Wolfgang Ballinger, 21, in a statement Friday morning.

Ballinger is charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, and first-degree sexual abuse. He is being held on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.

Cornell announced it was suspending Psi Upsilon on Monday after a woman told university police that a man led her to a bedroom at the fraternity’s 2 Forest Park Lane house and sexually assaulted her. At the time, the suspect was described as a white male with almost collar-length dark hair.

A site ranking Cornell frats described the top-spot Psi Upsilon as “a very wealthy house with a great reputation on campus.”

“The brothers are said to be good-looking and fit the stereotypical boarding school-type persona and the house itself is large and contains a squash court,” the description reads on CornellFrat.com. “They don't have many open events, but instead mostly have closed ones.”

The Daily Beast was unable to verify an event at the frat house on the night of the alleged assault, but the site alleges that the group has “great sorority relations.”

“Their pledge classes are usually fairly small, with a very low number of athletes,” it adds. “Overall the brothers are, for the most part, snobby elitists and not very down to earth at all.”

That’s not the image Ballinger paints of himself in a video uploaded to YouTube in December. In it, Ballinger says he was raised in small-town New York and is a first-generation college student.

“I believe that my family life and my small-town nature has given me the tools to strive as an entrepreneur,” the school of hotel administration junior told the camera.

But his now-deleted Facebook profile said Ballinger graduated from the ritzy Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School on the Upper West Side.

“My switch in 9th grade allowed me to attend a great school, and that school qualified me for Cornell,” he said. “In addition to schoolwork, I’m a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity, and was just elected president last semester.”

A Cornell University spokeswoman said the school does not comment on student status or affiliations.

Ballinger then delved into his goals of becoming an entrepreneur like his dad, who owns nightclubs and bars across the U.S. and Canada.

“My first entrepreneurial journey was a cookie stand outside my aunt’s clothing store when I was in the first grade,” Ballinger said. “While, to many, I was a little kid trying to make a buck, I remember feeling proud of myself as I sold my last cookie in the little booth I spent weeks making.”

His first significant venture was opening a bar at his father’s New York City venue, Webster Hall, for the World Cup, Ballinger said. He boasted of a $3,000 daily profit.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!
By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason

His goals at Cornell were to earn a food and beverage concentration at the school of hotel administration, and a minor in real estate. Ballinger said he wants to own a restaurant, and wants to intern at a real estate development firm this summer.

Ballinger said he spent the summer working at the Marriott Edition hotel in New York, shadowing the chef of its Clocktower restaurant. The restaurant has not returned a request for comment.

Cornell suspended all of Psi Upsilon’s activities other than operating as a residence hall on Monday, after reports of the sexual assault. The fraternity was similarly suspended a year ago while the university investigated concerns of illicit drug use. Those were determined to be unfounded.

Ballinger is due in court Feb. 9 for a preliminary hearing.