UC Berkeley student charged with sorority house rape

The woman's screams for help alerted her sorority sisters, who called police and held the man down until officers arrived, according to court papers.

UC Berkeley student charged with sorority house rape
UC Berkeley. Photo by Jeremy Huang / Unsplash

A 20-year-old UC Berkeley student has been charged with attacking and raping a young woman at her sorority house in the Southside neighborhood near the Cal campus, according to police and court papers.

The young man and woman, who is in her 20s, had previously dated, police said Tuesday in response to an inquiry from The Berkeley Scanner.

The Berkeley Police Department said the man strangled the woman, barricaded her inside a common room and sexually assaulted her.

When she managed to escape, other members of the sorority house held the man down until police arrived, BPD said.

Berkeley police described the incident as a domestic violence attack.

The incident took place Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the early hours of the morning.

According to court papers, the male student showed up that morning at the sorority on Warring Street. Citing concerns about his safety, he "demanded to spend the night," police wrote.

The woman let him inside and said he could sleep in a common room, according to police.

As they talked, police wrote, their conversation became an argument and the male student blocked the young woman from leaving the room.

He then attacked the young woman and strangled her repeatedly, according to court papers. He barricaded the door with a couch before sexually assaulting her, police wrote.

The young woman was eventually able to get away and her screams for help alerted her sorority sisters, according to court papers.

They found the male student on top of the young woman and were able to call the police and hold him down, according to BPD.

Officers arrived within minutes and took him into custody just after 5 a.m. Wednesday, BPD said.

Police identified the student as Ivan Andres Gonzalez, who lives at Pi Lambda Phi, a fraternity at 2727 Channing Way, according to court papers.

On Tuesday, UC Berkeley confirmed that Gonzalez is a current student at Cal.

The Berkeley Scanner has also asked Pi Lambda Phi for comment and will update this story if that information is provided.

According to BPD, officers found .27 grams of methamphetamine when they searched Gonzalez.

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During a police interview, according to court papers, Gonzalez admitted there had been "violence" in the relationship in the past.

But he declined to talk about what happened that night at the sorority, police wrote, and ended the interview when the subject came up.

During their investigation, police searched Gonzalez's cellphone and found an audio recording of part of the attack in the common room.

The recording included part of the struggle as well as Gonzalez admitting to the strangling, police wrote.

Ivan Andres Gonzalez. BPD

On Feb. 16, the Alameda County district attorney's office charged Gonzalez with rape by force, false imprisonment, domestic violence battery causing injury and preventing the woman from using her cellphone, according to BPD.

As of Tuesday, Gonzalez remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and is being held with a bail of $350,000.

He is scheduled to enter a plea Monday at Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

In the past six months, there have been at least 45 sex crimes reported within a few blocks of the UC Berkeley campus, according to CrimeMapping.com, a repository for local police data.

At least 23 of those incidents — some of which were reported to BPD and others that were reported to the University of California Police Department — are listed as felonies, according to CrimeMapping.

Update, Feb. 23: The UC Berkeley chapter of Pi Lambda Phi said it was aware of the criminal investigation and allegations: "The chapter is fully cooperating with law enforcement, the university, and its national organization as the legal process occurs and has indefinitely suspended the member pending the results of ongoing proceedings."  

Read more about crime near UC Berkeley on The Berkeley Scanner. UC Berkeley offers a number of safety and security resources for members of the campus community. Cal also publishes resources related to those needing support regarding sexual violence.