College Student Sues Fraternity Over Hazing - NBC New York
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College Student Sues Fraternity Over Hazing



    Student Files Hazing Lawsuit Against Fraternity

    A Bowie State University Student filed a $3 million lawsuit against his fraternity claiming he was a victim of hazing when he was a pledge. Darcy Spencer reports. (Published Monday, Dec. 29, 2014)

    A Bowie State University student has filed a $3 million lawsuit claiming he was hazed while joining the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

    Kevin Hayes alleges he was beaten, body-slammed, spanked with a wooden paddle on a daily basis between September 2013 and December 2013 and instructed not to tell anyone.

    "[They said] it makes you stronger," Hayes said. "They said, 'If you tell, you're a snitch.'"

    Hayes said he recently hired an attorney because he couldn't take the continued harassment.

    "He was beaten on a nightly basis, from five to eight hours a night," Hayes' attorney Jimmy Bell said.

    Bell said the abuse continued even after Hayes' mother contacted Bowie State to complain about the abuse, which had happened off-campus.

    "[Bowie State] didn't respond... they treated it as though it didn't happen," Hayes said. 

    Hayes and his lawyers filed a $3 million lawsuit in Prince George's County Circuit Court Monday against the fraternity and three of its non-student officers who they allege carried out the hazing.

    Under Maryland's anti-hazing law, those convicted can be jailed for up to six months and face a $500 fine. Bell said the law isn't tough enough, and said he's hoping Hayes' case will strengthen the law.

    "When you make the fine stronger and you make the time longer, people change their behavior," Bell said. 

    Bowie State officials are not commenting on the allegations since the school is not named in the lawsuit, but they released a statement they have "a stringent anti-hazing policy that is coupled with a strong anti-hazing education program. The university considers hazing to be indefensible and contrary to the interest of the university community."

    A spokesperson for Baltimore-based Alpha Phi Alpha says the "situation is currently under investigation" and that all activities for that chapter have been suspended.