PROSECUTOR MAY DROP SOME OF THE CHARGES IN HAZING CASE INVOLVING BLACKFOOT HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES

PROSECUTOR MAY DROP SOME OF THE CHARGES IN HAZING CASE INVOLVING BLACKFOOT HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Over the past month, we have blogged about some of the developments in the alleged hazing case involving five former Blackfoot High School athletes. The Bingham County Attorney now says he intends to drop some of the felony charges filed against five former Blackfoot High School athletes accused of hazing classmates after reviewing the case with a witness. In addition, the prosecutor says he will seek to dismiss 2 of the four felony complaints of forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object against Nathan Walker and Logan Chidester. The prosecutor says he also intends to dismiss single complaints of the same charge Tyson Katseanes and Anthony Clarke. Smith may also file a plea agreement with Katseanes to plead guilty to misdemeanor principal to battery.

DELTA KAPPA EPSILON SUSPENDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA FOR HAZING | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

DELTA KAPPA EPSILON SUSPENDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA FOR HAZING

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Friday, October 29, 2010

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The University of Alberta has suspended Delta Kappa Epsilon and has revoked its right to book events, to use school equipment or to use the university logo until ‘further notice’. As the Montes Herald Law Group Blog discussed earlier this week, the University of Alberta was investigating the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity for hazing. The fraternity’s initiation rituals were partially captured on video and released to the press showing the group was engaged in hazing type behaviors over a 4 day period of time. In this instance, the video shows that sleep deprived pledges were forced eat their own vomit, raw onions, and were yelled at and berated and were threatened with violence.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed as a result of a hazing incident, it is important that you take action quickly to protect your rights. Communicating in writing with the appropriate organizational, educational and police authorities to properly and timely document your complaints is extremely important. Some schools and universities have extremely short deadlines (sometimes as short as 48 hours from the time of the incident) in their Codes of Conduct to report such conduct if you desire for the institution to take any action. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know your rights and take action quickly to protect those rights.

Montes Herald Law Group, LLP

Attorney: Rachel Montes

Attorney: Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldblog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO INVESTIGATES ALPHI PHI SORORITY FOR HAZING | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO INVESTIGATES ALPHI PHI SORORITY FOR HAZING

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Monday, October 25, 2010

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The University of Colorado at Boulder is investigating a possible hazing incident involving the Alpha Phi sorority. The alleged incident happened about a week and a half ago. Authorities say it involved members of the sorority forcing underage freshmen girls to drink.

CU says the Office of Student Affairs has launched a dual investigation into the sorority Alpha Phi.

This is not the first time the Alpha Phi sorority has been investigated for hazing. In February, 2010, a student fell off the roof of the same sorority after being intoxicated as part of a hazing incident. The female student fell 19 feet, breaking several bones and suffering internal injuries.

Colorado University has taken a much stronger stance against hazing since a 2004 hazing death involving Gordon Bailey of Dallas, Texas, and a freshman at CU who died of alcohol poisoning after a hazing incident involving the Chi Psi fraternity. That incident led to an investigation of the fraternity and a lawsuit against the members of the fraternity as well as the national chapter of the fraternity, and a promise by the fraternity to use the story of Gordon Bailey’s death to educate pledges and fraternity members about the dangers of hazing, alcohol abuse, and alcohol poisoning.

While no one died in this incident, there is still reason to be concerned about any hazing as hazing can quickly escalate and lead to serious injuries or deaths in ways that these students don’t anticipate. These rituals and traditions of forced alcohol consumption are typically only part of the story that these groups work hard to prevent others from discoverying.

Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

Rachel Montes and Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldBlog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA INVESTIGATES DELTA KAPPA EPSILON FRATERNITY FOR HAZING AFTER VIDEO OF THE EVENT IS RELEASED | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA INVESTIGATES DELTA KAPPA EPSILON FRATERNITY FOR HAZING AFTER VIDEO OF THE EVENT IS RELEASED

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Monday, October 25, 2010

Delta Kappa Epsilon.jpg

The University of Alberta is investigating the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity for hazing. A video was taken of portions of the event which reveal that hazing of pledges took place over a 4 day period. Typically, the hazing over this period of time is part of “Hell Week” where pledges complete their initiation rituals to become members of the fraternity. In this instance, the video shows that sleep deprived pledges were forced eat their own vomit, raw onions, and were yelled at and berated and were threatened with violence.

The school newspaper is reporting that alumni members of the fraternity claim that in years past, pledges were forced to endure extreme dehydration, and that then pledges were forced to consume Kool-Aid with salt, and encouraged to drink excessive amounts of alcohol and that the pledges would also be put through strenuous physical tests like wind sprints and push-ups.

This case presents a very typical type of hazing case except for the release of the video taping of the events which are usually considered to be “sacred” by the fraternity and kept under strict secrecy. Usually, the fraternity pledges are forced to undergo certain rituals, exercises or to participate in activities that lead to others being injured or killed. Often, alcohol is involved and the fraternity members engage in these activities every year under the banner of “tradition” to make the pledges feel as as a test of loyalty and unity. These hazing activities often are considered a rite of passage that the victim must endure before the victim is permitted to become an official member of the group. These rites of passage tend to focus on efforts to humiliate, embarrass and often times even involve physical or sexual assault that may cause permanent physical and mental injuries, and in some cases even result in death. Then, after the fact, the group involved often tends to “circle the wagon” to protect the organization and the individuals involved as part of the Code of Silence. Education and enforcement of anti-hazing policies and laws appear to be the best ways to combat this counter-culture and to expose these groups and behaviors. Holding those involved accountable is an important step towards stopping the cycle of abuse so that others will know that these illegal behaviors will not be tolerated.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed as a result of a hazing incident, it is important that you take action quickly to protect your rights. Communicating in writing with the appropriate organizational, educational and police authorities to properly and timely document your complaints is extremely important. Some schools and universities have extremely short deadlines (sometimes as short as 48 hours from the time of the incident) in their Codes of Conduct to report such conduct if you desire for the institution to take any action. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know your rights and take action quickly to protect those rights.

Montes Herald Law Group, LLP

Attorney: Rachel Montes

Attorney: Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldblog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

Cheerleaders Punished for Serving Cokes With Urine | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

Cheerleaders Punished for Serving Cokes With Urine

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District spokeswoman Kristin Courtney indicates that cheerleaders involved in the incident in which other cheerleaders were served cokes spiked with urine have been disciplined. Supposedly, two of the cheerleaders involved received in-school suspensions while others received lesser penalties. Due to privacy laws, the names of the cheerleaders involved have not been released.

According to school officials, “What we found was that there were a group of girls that had urinated in a cup and enticed others to drink it. In addition, the girls will not be allowed to take part in cheerleading events through the end of the school year.

Because of federal privacy laws, the school district is not releasing more details about the incident. Thus, it is not clear if this incident was hazing or very poor judgment or some form of retaliation. Hazing is certainly not limited to college fraternities. Each year, hazing incidents across the nation. Those incidents involve both boys and girls and those incidents occur at universities, military institutions, high schools and occasionally even at a junior high school or middle school level. In addition, hazing incidents often extend beyond the fraternity or sorority organizations and frequently involve students involved in high school athletics such as football, basketball, baseball and other sports teams, and even cheerleaders and other groups.

Hazing is illegal in Texas as well as most other states. As a result, if this incident does involve hazing those involved are subject to criminal prosecution and to civil lawsuits.

Montes Herald Law Group, LLP

Attorney: Rachel Montes

Attorney: Thomas A. Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

(214) 522-9401

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldblog.com

Facebook “Montes Herald Law Group”

Hazing Lawsuits Are Set for Trial | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

Hazing Lawsuits Are Set for Trial

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Sunday, April 4, 2010

Two lawsuits alleging that Army and Navy Cadets were hazed while in the Army and Navy Academy located in Carlsbad, New Mexico are set for trial. Both lawsuits allege that the cadets were exposed to a systemic and sadomasochistic hazing at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad.

In one lawsuit, a cadet alleges that a group of other cadets forced another underage cadet to drink alcohol, and once the cadet inebriated, the other cadets beat him, and then “applied topical analgesic heat rub cream” to parts of his body and sodomized him with a broomstick. The plaintiff, who had been a cadet at the school for two semesters at the time of the alleged assault, had been subjected to harassment and beatings as soon as he entered the school. On his first day at the school and at other times, he was forced to play a game called “body shot,” in which he and another young cadet were told to fight each other or face fighting an older cadet.

In the second lawsuit, a former cadet sued a school administrator and the academy, among others, as sharing responsibility for sexual molestation of the cadet. The attorney for the cadets described a culture of secrecy at the Academy where cadets are discouraged from reporting wrongdoing in what amounts to a “conspiracy of silence” that also is encouraged by adults on campus.

These cases are prime examples of how hazing occurs. There is typically a sense of tradition attached to the behaviors that the members of the group use as some sort of rite of passage that the victim must endure before the victim is permitted to become an official member of the group. These rites of passage tend to focus on efforts to humiliate, embarrass and often times even involve physical or sexual assault that may cause permanent physical and mental injuries, and in some cases even result in death. Then, after the fact, the group involved often tends to “circle the wagon” to protect the organization and the individuals involved as part of the Code of Silence. Education and enforcement of anti-hazing policies and laws appear to be the best ways to combat this counter-culture and to expose these groups and behaviors. Holding those involved accountable is an important step towards stopping the cycle of abuse so that others will know that these illegal behaviors will not be tolerated.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed as a result of a hazing incident, it is important that you take action quickly to protect your rights. Communicating in writing with the appropriate organizational, educational and police authorities to properly and timely document your complaints is extremely important. Some schools and universities have extremely short deadlines (sometimes as short as 48 hours from the time of the incident) in their Codes of Conduct to report such conduct if you desire for the institution to take any action. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know your rights.

Montes Herald Law Group, LLP

Attorney: Rachel Montes

Attorney: Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldblog.com