The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU Hunt Scholar arrested for alleged sexual assault

John David Mahaffey
John David Mahaffey

John David Mahaffey (

John David Mahaffey, a 19-year-old sophomore finance major from Rogersville, Mo., was arrested Tuesday in connection with a Sept. 23 sexual assault of a fellow SMU student, according to Dallas County court records.

Mahaffey, a current Hunt Scholar, was arrested by SMU police and taken to the Dallas County Sheriffs’ department and subsequently booked into Dallas County Jail, according to Dallas County court records.

He was released on Sept. 26 after posting a $25,000 bond.

The alleged incident took place in the early hours of Sept. 23. SMU released a crime alert that Monday afternoon that stated:

A male SMU student reported being sexually assaulted by a male SMU student acquaintance at two different campus locations about 3 a.m. and again shortly thereafter, on Sunday, September 23, 2012. The victim said he first was sexually assaulted on the west side of 3050 SMU Boulevard and then in the Airline Parking Garage at Airline Road and Daniel Avenue.

Kent Best, executive director of SMU news and communications, released a statement regarding Mahaffey’s arrest Wednesday night on behalf of the university. It stated:

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, SMU Police arrested an SMU student for an alleged sexual assault that occurred Sept. 23, 2012, on the SMU campus. SMU Police will present the findings of its investigation to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. The student is temporarily banned from campus pending further investigation.

Best confirmed the statement, saying that the arrest on Tuesday was in connection with the crime alert issued Monday.

Best did not have any information on where or what time the arrest took place.

The Dallas County District Attorney Director of Communications Debbie Denmon said that the case has not been forwarded to their office yet and therefore there has been no grand jury referral.

An article from the Sept. 16, 2011 issue of The Daily Campus referenced his long family history at SMU. Mahaffey is a fourth-generation SMU student. His great-great grandfather was a member of the founding committee for SMU, and served as an interim professor when the university opened.

His grandmother attended the university, along with his father and two of his aunts.

Mahaffey is the assistant vice president of recruitment for SMU’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) and a member of Student Senate, according to his Hunt Leadership Scholars Program page.

According to Mahaffey’s Facebook page, he is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Sigma Phi Epsilon’s president Luke Friedman gave the following statment:

The Sigma Phi Epsilon Chapter at Southern Methodist has learned that one of its members was taken into custody by the Dallas Police Department as part of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault. The chapter has suspended this member from the Fraternity pending the outcome of this investigation. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s mission is to build balanced men, and its leadership programs and educational efforts are based on the value of respect for self and others. Members are expected to act in accordance with SigEp’s values, and clearly, this alleged behavior is not tolerated and not consistent with the Fraternity’s mission. The chapter continues to cooperate fully with campus and Dallas police. This is a disturbing situation and the chapter’s thoughts and concerns go out to everyone affected.

The Daily Campus attempted to call Mahaffey’s home phone number, but received no answer.

There will be updates provided on this story as more information is provided.

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