Possible criminal charges in Boston fraternity hazing

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 11, 2012 5:44 PM
Possible criminal charges in Boston fraternity hazing

By Gianna Palmer

(Reuters) - Fourteen Boston University students faced possible criminal charges on Wednesday for assaulting five others who were found covered in condiments, bound together and shivering in their underwear in an off-campus house, police said.

The five male BU students, victims of an apparent fraternity hazing incident, were found early Monday morning when police responded to a noise complaint at a house near the university.

They were found in the basement, tied together at the wrists with duct tape, stripped down to their underwear and covered in beer, condiments and food, Boston police said.

"Officers also noticed that all five victims had red welts and markings all over their backs," according to a description of the incident on the police department's website.

The victims declined to seek medical treatment, police said.

Authorities sought criminal complaints against the 14 people on charges including hazing, failure to report hazing, and assault and battery.

The 14 men also were BU students and the school will consider expelling them, said university spokesman Colin Riley.

The five victims will not be disciplined, he said.

"We hold students accountable for the code of student responsibilities, whether it's on campus or off campus," Riley said.

A decision on whether to charge the 14 suspects will be made at a hearing in Brighton District Court on May 7, police said.

The suspects were members of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, which is not officially recognized by BU, Riley said.

At least two members of the fraternity were involved in an alleged alcohol-related hazing incident last month that resulted in the Sigma Delta Tau sorority being temporarily suspended.

The national chapter of AEPi was quick to renounce the students.

"We have immediately suspended the Chapter at Boston University and all of its members pending completion of all investigations," said a statement posted on AEPi's national website. "We intend to fully cooperate with all authorities and investigations."

Boston University's website lists 12 fraternities and 13 sororities, all of which are located off campus, and notes about 11 percent of the student population is involved in the organizations.

(Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Mohammad Zargham)