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Monday, April 6 Police Reports

Police: SHU student’s nude photo illegally shared with frat

BRIDGEPORT — A Sacred Heart University student has been charged with disseminating nude photographs of a young woman without her permission, police said.

Nicholas Otto-Bernstein, 20, of New York, is charged with illegally disseminating intimate images, voyeurism and disseminating voyeurism images. He is free on a promise to appear in court on Feb. 28.

An SHU spokesperson said he has voluntarily withdrawn from the university.

“Sacred Heart University’s primary goal is always the protection of our students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus. To that end, we have been investigating this incident since it came to our attention,” said Deb Noack, a spokesperson for SHU. “The student who was alleged to have distributed the photo has voluntarily withdrawn from the University. Beyond that, federal privacy laws prevent us from commenting on individual students.

Otto-Bernstein’s lawyer, Felice Duffy, did not immediately return calls for comment.

Bridgeport police said a 20-year-old Sacred Heart University student said she had attended an off-campus student party in October 2019. She said she had two drinks and then blacked out. She awoke some hours later back in her dormitory room with no recollection how she got there, police said.

Police said sometime later the young woman told them she received a text from a friend stating that a nude photo of her had been posted on the mobile messaging app Snapchat. The image, saved by the friend, showed the victim lying naked on a bed, police said.

The victim later learned that the image had been sent to members of the university’s Omega Phi Kappa fraternity, according to the police report.

Police said they were able to trace the image back to Otto-Bernstein. The victim said she had met him at the party, according to the police report.

The police report identified Otto-Bernstein as a member of the fraternity.

However, Justin Carde, a SHU alum and adviser to the Fairfield County Omega Phi Kappa chapters, said Otto-Bernstein was not a member of the fraternity although he went through initiation last spring.

“He’s never been inducted into our fraternity. He’s not a member at all,” Carde said.

As of Monday evening, police has not responded to attempts to clarify Otto-Bernstein’s status as a member of the Omega Phi Kappa fraternity.

Daniel Tepfer|Reporter

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