Fraternity placed on suspension following rape charges against a member


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Western Kentucky University Police Department report released Friday shows occupants of the Sigma Nu fraternity house entered a bedroom during a reported rape early Saturday morning and the man charged with the rape pushed them out of the room and shut the door.

The woman who reported the incident told police while she was being assaulted other residents of the house walked into the room, according to the report.

Benjamin Shawn Massingille, 21, of Tompkinsville, was charged Monday with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree unlawful imprisonment following a party at the Sigma Nu house, according to his arrest citation. At the time of his arrest his employer was listed on his citation as the Monroe County Schools.

After the release of the report, WKU suspended the fraternity Friday.

“With the information contained in the police report released Friday afternoon on the rape investigation at the Sigma Nu fraternity house, Western Kentucky University has placed the fraternity on interim suspension pending an investigation into possible policy violations,” WKU spokesman Bob Skipper said in a written statement. “The chapter has been notified. No additional information will be released at this time.”

Western Kentucky University Police officers were called to TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital at 6 a.m. Saturday where they spoke to the woman who said she attended a party at the fraternity house hours earlier and went into a bedroom with a man who she knew only as “Ben,” according to his arrest citation. She said the man lived at the fraternity house. Police later identified him as Massingille. At about 2 a.m. the two got into an argument, the woman got scared and sent a text message to a friend because she said Massingille was intoxicated and enraged.

During this time Massingille forced the woman onto the bed and he began taking off his pants, according to his citation. She told police as he forced himself on her she tried to push him away but was unable due to his size, according to his citation.

She also told police Massingille had his hands around her throat and mouth, according to the police records released Friday.

She said the two met at a prior party and had been talking to each other using the cell phone app Snapchat for about two weeks. He invited her to the party, according to police records. When they arrived he walked her to his bedroom, bypassing the party and he wouldn’t let her leave the room when she wanted to go to the common area of the house, according to police records.

After the woman texted her friend for help, the friend was a short distance away, arrived and began banging on the door. Massingille said they were busy and refused to come to the door, according to his citation.  With the help of other unidentified men at the party, the woman’s friend was able to gain entry into the room. She told police she saw her friend with her pants halfway off, crying and in distress, according to the citation.

Records show another man at the party told Massingille to stop what he was doing and let the woman go.

Her friend drove her to an emergency room where a rape kit was done.

Emergency room staff confirmed to police that the woman had injuries to her genitalia, according to his arrest citation.

Massengille’s car remained parked at the fraternity house. At one point during the weekend, police received information that Massingille was in Knoxville, and Knoxville police attempted unsuccessfully to locate him.
Monday an attorney representing Massingille said he would turn himself in. Massingille turned himself in at the Warren County Regional Jail.

That attorney’s name is not listed in online court records.

Massingille was given a $25,000 cash bond which he paid and was released from custody, according to online court and jail records.

Massingille is a member of the Eta Rho Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at WKU.

“Sigma Nu Fraternity is aware of an allegation of sexual assault related to a Western Kentucky University student member of the Eta Rho Chapter of Sigma Nu,” said Drew Logsdon, director of communications for Sigma Nu Fraternity Inc. in a written statement. “An investigation by local law enforcement is ongoing, with which the Fraternity is cooperating. The student’s Fraternity membership has been suspended by the Fraternity, pending completion of law enforcement proceedings.”