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DPD makes arrest in off-East assault

Durham Police Department officials arrested a suspect Monday in connection with allegations that a Duke student was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party Feb. 11.

Michael Jermaine Burch, 21, was charged with second-degree rape and is currently being held at Durham County Jail on $50,000 bond.

The arrest of Burch-who is not a Duke student-follows reports by the 18-year-old student that she was forcibly raped around 3 a.m. at 405 Gattis St., where a party was being hosted by members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Police reports state that approximately 50 people were at the party at which the alleged incident occurred.

Police have released no information about whether Burch was invited or if he knew anyone in attendance.

Marijuana, cocaine and Oxycontin were found in the house, according to a Durham Police Department report. Neighbors told The Chronicle Feb. 11 that police officers also found a gun in the house, but police have not reported that a gun was present.

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, confirmed Monday that the alleged victim has returned to school.

"As of today, she seemed to be doing as well as she could be under the circumstances," Moneta said. "She was pleased that the police were able to bring the suspect forward."

Moneta added that the University will continue to support the alleged victim and other students.

The Duke University Policy Department has remained independent from the investigation, which has fallen under DPD jurisdiction, but University officials said DUPD and DPD were cooperating in the case.

Burch, who does not have a criminal record, is scheduled to appear in court today.


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