Another SMU Student Has Been Arrested for Sexual Assault
John David Mahaffey
SMU has traditionally handled cases of alleged sexual assault involving students through closed, "non-adversarial" hearings in which a panel of faculty and students, rather than, say, a grand jury, weigh evidence and testimony and render a confidential verdict. That was how the school handled more than 100 such cases over a quarter century.
There are signs the practice may be changing. The Daily Campus broke the news that John David Mahaffey, a 19-year-old sophomore whose great-great grandfather was a member SMU's founding committee, was arrested Tuesday in connection with a pair of on-campus sexual assaults reported over the weekend.
Mahaffey, who was released from Dallas County Jail on a $25,000 bond, has not yet been indicted, so details are limited to a crime alert issued by the university on Monday. According to the alert, a male student reported being assaulted twice by another student at 3 a.m. the day before, once on the west side of 3050 SMU Boulevard, and again in a parking garage at Daniel Road and Airline Drive.
SMU spokesman Kent Best issued a statement to The Daily Campus confirming the arrest.
"SMU Police will present the findings of its investigation to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office," he wrote. "The student is temporarily banned from campus pending further investigation."
Update at 5:10 p.m.: Melissa Repko at the Morning news got a copy of the arrest affidavit, which provided more details about the alleged sexual assault.
Repko reports that the first incident occurred at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house, where Mahaffey allegedly forced the other student to perform oral sex.
The next day, the student agreed to have SMU police record a phone conversation with Mahaffey. "You know I did not want to do that," the student said, according to the affidavit. "I know you didn't," Mahaffey replied, "but we have to say it was consensual or lawyers, parents, and the school will be involved."