Party where student was allegedly gang raped last year to happen again
Almost exactly a year ago, an FAU student said she was gang raped at a fraternity-tied party. Police are still investigating and the party’s about to happen again.
March 29, 2016
Around 2,500 men and women, many around college age as well as underage, danced on a wooden gymnasium floor scattered with packaged condoms and crushed Solo cups.
It was on a Saturday night, almost exactly a year ago. Many were drinking, some were dancing and one was allegedly gang raped.
The party happened at the Wayne Barton Study Center — a 25,000-square-foot facility less than two miles away from Florida Atlantic’s Boca Raton campus.
— #Atlanta2016 (@iamyaokhari) April 13, 2015
Now, that event is set to happen again, but one thing’s changed — the venue. Instead of the study center, where the event has taken place for the last four years, this year’s party will be held at a Pompano Beach venue that’s infamous for frequent police visits.
And even though the event’s planners say the event has nothing to do with an on-campus fraternity, a University Press investigation has revealed multiple documented ties including business records, police reports and social media posts that suggest otherwise.
According to the Boca Raton Police, the FAU student, whose name has not been released, told police she was pulled behind the blue curtain on the stage of the center’s gymnasium and raped by a group of men.
A year later, the case is still being investigated by the Boca Raton Police — the agency the center’s owner and founder, Wayne Barton, used to work for. Barton was an officer for 20 years.
On the night of April 11, 2015, following the 20th Annual Sunshine State Classic — an annual step-dancing competition at FAU — partygoers made the short trip to the study center for an after party called the South Florida Spill.
Idalis Streat was one of them. “There were a ton of people there, a DJ of course, there was alcohol,” she told the UP.
Streat said she felt as if a lot of freshmen attended the event. “Nobody was carded and the tickets to get into the event were only sold by Greek life members that I am aware of, like Black Greek Life.”
FAU spokeswoman Lisa Metcalf told the UP otherwise. “The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at FAU did not sell any tickets to this event or any off campus event.”
Omega Psi Phi fraternity chapters across the country have held Oil Spill parties. They’re frequently all you-can-drink parties where attendees pay a fixed ticket price and drink the liquor, or Omega Oil, until it runs out.
Dooley Gabriel, another partygoer, said, “Greek life was present, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it was Omega Psi Phi solely, a lot of fraternities and sororities were present.” Gabriel said he was carded at the door.
According to the police report, the victim told officers her rape occurred at “an after party called Oil Spill.”
The South Florida Spill is hosted by a company called Sadiddy Entertainment, which denies fraternity affiliation or culpability. But three of the company’s officers became members in the FAU’s Omega Psi Phi chapter within the last five years, according to a roster obtained by the UP.
“It’s not misleading,” Pierre Boisrond — one of Sadiddy Entertainment’s listed officers — said about the event’s title in regards to its suggested relation to fraternity oil spill parties. “We can name our party anything we want, and we chose The Spill.”
But when the event started taking place at the Wayne Barton Study Center in 2012, a flier revealed the event was originally called the Oil Spill, not the South Florida Spill. State corporation records show Sadiddy Entertainment filed formal paperwork to become a Florida limited liability company that same year.
By 2013, the South Florida Spill got its new name.
This matters because if an event with alcohol is officially sponsored by a sorority or fraternity, FAU’s Alcohol Within Fraternities & Sororities Policy applies. It states that no members can serve or sell alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age.
“If you check the advertising, we also specifically state that this party is not affiliated with [any] colleges or fraternities,” Boisrond said.
Sadiddy Says ‘No Affiliation’ — Backs it Up With One Tweet
When the UP asked Sadiddy Entertainment’s Pierre Boisrond if the South Florida Spill might get construed as an Oil Spill party, he told us no. “If you check the advertising, we also specifically state that this party is not affiliated with and [any] colleges or fraternities,” he said.
When the UP asked to see the advertising, Boisrond backtracked. “No one uses flyers [sic] to promote parties anymore. Only social media.”
Later, he provided a screenshot of a tweet from April 1, 2015 that read, “#SFLSpill Not affiliated with Omega Psi Phi #SOUTHFLORIDASPILL” with the Twitter user’s handle covered.
When the UP searched for the same text on Twitter, only one tweet contained that statement. The original was tweeted by a user with the handle @Oil_Que, whose alias is Patrick Wap and bio starts out with “ΩΨΦ” — Omega Psi Phi’s Greek symbol.
“We cannot control people’s thoughts, inferences or opinions,” Boisrond said. “The only thing we can control is what we advertise.”
The policy also says that “events with alcohol must not exceed a four hour maximum timeframe,” but this year’s South Florida Spill is scheduled to last six hours, and previous ones, including last year’s, have been slotted for five. The policy also calls for carding at the door, which last year’s partygoer, Idalis Streat, said didn’t happen.
According to records it filed with the state, Sadiddy Entertainment is comprised of Boisrond, Fritz Limousin and Jamal Hamilton — all members of FAU’s Omega Psi Phi fraternity — as well as Martreace Jones, who according to his Facebook profile, works for the “official Omega Psi Phi Fraternity” organization.
Setting Up an LLC
Business professor Michael Sparks declined commenting on this specific situation, but explained to the UP how an LLC works and what it could protect a company from.
“Setting up an LLC is a fairly simple process and allows an entrepreneur to establish a company that is a separate legal entity from the owners and provides a liability shield,” explained FAU College of Business professor Michael Sparks. “However, there is not a complete shield.”
Sparks continued: “Many times the LLC owners are nearly indistinguishable from the company financially. The owner’s car is in the name of the LLC, the LLC pays for the owners’ cell phone. Money flows back and forth between the owner’s and LLCs accounts … In this case, a lawyer can make the argument that the LLC and the Owner(s) are really one and the same. If the judge agrees — the owners are now liable for the LLC’s actions and financial obligations. This is called piercing the corporate veil.”
The 21st Annual Sunshine State Classic step show is scheduled for Saturday, April 9, and so is the South Florida Spill.
Wayne Barton could not be reached for comment on the venue change.
The club is about 12 miles away from FAU’s Boca Raton campus.
Sadiddy Entertainment told WPTV that it hired private security to monitor the inside of the gymnasium at last year’s event, while police officers in uniform were outside the study center handling parking.
In 2013, the city of Pompano Beach filed a lawsuit against Club Cinema. The suit was centered around if the venue “which hosts raves and lets in both minors and adults, should be allowed to continue operating despite frequent visits from police and paramedics for drug arrests, overdoses and unconscious patrons,” according to a 2014 article by the Sun Sentinel.
Ultimately, the club stayed open.
Just this month, rapper Machine Gun Kelly performed at the venue. And as Yelp user Adam M. recalled in his review, “WTF no liquor!!!”
As a way to get around the city’s 2 a.m. ordinance for establishments serving alcohol, WSVN reported that Club Cinema gave up its liquor license.
“We have not had a liquor license since Jan. 1,” the club’s attorney, Sandy Topkin, said in 2014. “There’s no alcohol on the property, the bars were all operating with water only, no alcohol at all.”
Club Cinema personnel could not be reached for comment.
According to this year’s event page, the South Florida Spill is slated to go from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Last year’s pre-sale tickets were about $30 on its event page. Posts on Twitter said tickets at the door would be around $40.
Even though Sadiddy Entertainment is listed as an LLC, a for-profit company, its event page last year said otherwise. The online description claimed, “ALL PROCEEDS GO TO A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION!!!!”
With tickets last year as low as $30 and as much as $40 and Sadiddy Entertainment saying 2,500 people attended, that’s a profit between $75,000 to $100,000, before expenses.
This year’s pre-sale tickets are listed at about $20, and the event description says nothing about money going to a nonprofit.
“[The] event is to make money,” Boisrond told the UP. “Money goes to our pockets.”
Wayne Barton Says ‘No Crime’
The last four years of the Spill’s seven-year history, the party has taken place at the Wayne Barton Study Center. Barton rented the center to Sadiddy, WPTV reported.
Last year, he was sympathetic about the active case — “It hurt me to my heart,” Barton told local NBC affiliate, WPTV. Now, he told the UP there wasn’t a problem.
“There were no witness or suspects (NO CRIME) in this incident [sic],” Barton said in an email to the UP. “You are really making FAU look bad and wasting good man power hours you could be doing something else, with your time [sic].”
But an active police case suggests otherwise.
“Wayne Barton retired from the Boca Raton Police Department in January, 2000,” officer Sandra Boonenberg, spokeswoman for the police said.
“He is not privy to our investigations. The case is still under investigation and Mr. Barton’s opinions are his own.”
Though the case was the first reported rape, last year wasn’t the only time an incident occurred at the South Florida Spill. On April 15, 2012, a fight broke out on the dance floor and Boca Raton police came inside to break it up.
They ultimately arrested a partygoer for battery against an officer.
The police report said the police presence was to “provide security for a party for a local fraternity.” It also said there were “close to 1,000 partygoers” in attendance.
Two years later, on April 13, 2014, at around 3 a.m., Boca Raton police called for reinforcement to help dismiss the large party.
This time, the police report said the police had to disburse “a large party that was being held by the Omega fraternity (FAU).”
Mentions of last year’s South Florida Spill on Twitter frequently included photos or emojis featuring purple and gold — Omega Psi Phi’s official colors — as well as a dog emoji. This references an unofficial fraternity member nickname — que dogs, also spelled q-dogs, as sites like Philly.com say.
Photos from the party showed many of the attendees wearing purple and gold shirts with camouflage bottoms — the same thing many members wear in the fraternity’s Facebook photos.
The UP reached out to FAU’s Omega Psi Phi president for comment, but received no response as of publication time.
Last year’s South Florida Spill was accompanied by posts on Twitter, using the hashtag #SFLSPILL. The event’s flier also had it that way.
This year, the event’s ticketing page revealed a new hashtag — #SOFLOSPILL. As of publication time, the new tag has been used sparingly — mostly to advertise the ticket sales page.
The UP asked one of the event’s organizers, Jamal Hamilton, about the hashtag change. “How many times you changed your hairstyle? How many times you changed a style of clothing?” Hamilton asked in an email.
“Answer those questions and then ask yourself why … After that you’ll get and understand of what’s called common sense [sic].”
The UP requested comment from LaVar Jamison, the assistant director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at FAU, but Jamison referred us to media relations. The UP complied, but still was unable to get a comment from Jamison as of publication time.
Jamison used to advise the University of Miami’s Omega Psi Phi chapter and is listed as a brother in Omega Psi Phi’s Pi Nu chapter.
This year’s South Florida Spill happens to be taking place just after FAU’s It’s On Us: Sexual Assault Awareness Week, in recognition of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“Sexual assault is a difficult and uncomfortable conversation that needs to happen especially on college campuses across the country,” Allison Vo, one of the It’s On Us event coordinators, said. “Personally, I am hoping this campaign will have a lasting effect on the culture on campus.”
Vo continued: “I feel a spectrum of emotions when I hear stories of sexual assault, especially when it happens in our community. We have not specifically addressed that particular incident in our programs but it goes to show that what we are talking is a real concern.”
According to its Facebook page, the Student Government event will last from April 4 to April 7 on the Boca Raton campus and is being held “so students are mobilized to take a stand against sexual assault.”
All photos throughout this story of social media activity regarding the South Florida Spill are from public Twitter accounts as of publication time. Many Tweets were found by searching the hashtag, #SFLSPILL, and combing through details like the date of posting.
More on the South Florida Spill: