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Sexual assault trial begins against former frat president

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The trial is underway in the case against the former Temple University fraternity president who is accused of sexually assaulting two young women in the frat house about two years ago. 

The jury, comprised of mostly women, heard the first accuser’s testimony on Wednesday. She said she and the defendant, Ari Goldstein, had a consensual “friends with benefits” relationship, but on that particular night in November 2017, their interaction became “scary.” 

At the Alpha Epsilon Pi house, she said he was on top of her when he put his fingers down her throat and pressed his arm into her chest. Sobbing, she said she repeatedly told him to stop, and he did. For a few seconds, they continued their embrace — before she abruptly got up and left.

Eventually, she said Goldstein apologized. Prosecutors showed the jury a text exchange in which Goldstein said he never wanted to hurt her, and he had blacked out from drinking too much.

The accuser said she was left bruised the next day.

She told several friends about what happened — but didn’t want to report it to authorities because she just wanted “to move on with her life and just graduate.” It wasn’t, she said, until she found out about the other accuser’s story that she finally went to Temple police.

The defense tried to poke holes in her story, arguing that this is a case in which things just got out of hand, and it doesn’t rise to the level of criminality. And, they say, both parties are responsible.

The charges against Goldstein gained attention when District Attorney Larry Krasner placed a $1 million bail on the former student in 2018.

The case continues through the week. The other accuser is expected to also take the stand.

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