In assault trial, there is talk of APES

A trial involving three GW students revealed Wednesday that a sophomore alerted the University to some of the controversial inner-workings of the Alpha Pi Epsilon fraternity.

An attorney for Ryan Skolnick, a sophomore accused of assaulting and later bribing freshman Bryan Kim, said his client’s role in providing the University with information about APES hazing would taint the witnesses’ testimony about the fight.

“So you knew the defendant was responsible – that he shut down APES,” the attorney asked freshman Lawrence Paul, who pledged APES with Skolnick. “How did that make you feel, knowing he had violated that trust?”

In an unprecedented series of room raids and questioning, the University disrupted the activities of the underground fraternity in December. Five or six students told University officials of hazing in the off-campus group, a senior ranking University official told The Hatchet in December.

Skolnick is facing charges for assault and contempt after allegedly punching Kim in front of Thurston Hall and later attempting to give him $2,000 to provide false testimony. Only two witnesses testified before the judge adjourned until Thursday.

Paul testified that Skolnick repeatedly offered Kim money to change his story about the chronology of the fight.

“Ryan said he would make Bryan a ‘reasonable offer’ for his testimony,” Paul said. “He said the $2,000 was negotiable and that no one else had to know about it.”

The defense showed a series of images captured from security cameras that depicted the fight.

In addition to Paul, University Police Department Officer Sheldon White was called to the stand and testified that he witnessed Skolnick’s alleged assault on Kim, which resulted in a broken nose.

“I was only an arm-lengths away from Mr. Kim when the assault occured,” White said. “Skolnick leaped into the air and threw a right cross, hitting Kim in the facial area.”

White said Skolnick then fled the area but was eventually apprehended by another officer a block away.

Skolnick, his mother and attorney all refused comment after the trial.

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