Massachusetts College Students, Sorority Suspended for Hazing
Recent hazing incidents at Boston University resulted in the suspension of a sorority and several of its members.
CAMBRIDGE, MA, June 13, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Recent hazing incidents at Boston University resulted in the suspension of a sorority and several of its members. According to Boston University administrators, Sigma Delta Tau engaged in numerous incidents of underage drinking, encouraging or forcing its members to drink in excess. At least one sorority member was hospitalized. The sorority had already received a temporary suspension for hazing students earlier this year.
The most recent incident occurred in early March, when two heavily intoxicated sorority members were hospitalized. Police determined that the women had both attended an off-campus sorority hazing event.
The suspension forbids the sorority from using university space or the school's name until 2013. The sorority's national headquarters will assume responsibility for limiting the chapter's activities and providing educational training on hazing. No criminal charges are expected in the case.
However, the same cannot be said for the members of an off-campus fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, whose members participated in another recent hazing incident. Alston police arrived at a house near BU after receiving a noise complaint. They found five nearly naked Boston University students covered in honey, hot sauce, coffee grounds and fish sauce, and peppered with red welts. Several students allegedly involved in the incident are facing charges that include with hazing, failure to stop hazing, assault and battery, and keeping a noisy and disorderly house.
The line between hazing and voluntary behavior is difficult to draw. Educational institutions and law enforcement are increasingly taking action against Greek life associations, athletic teams, and other organizations and their members for alleged hazing and related incidents. Consent is not a defense against hazing charges. However, in some circumstances, defense likes assumption of the risk or sovereign immunity for government employees may be available. A defendant may also challenge whether the alleged conduct rose to the level of willful or reckless conduct that endangered the target's physical or mental health.
Hazing in is a misdemeanor under Massachusetts law. Punishment can range up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000. It can leave a convicted person with a criminal record that can follow him or her for life, affecting eligibility for employment, financial aid and certain types of jobs.
Massachusetts Criminal Defense Group
College Student Crime Defense
485 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 301
Cambridge, MA 02139
8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Boston, MA 02109
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