A Texas grand jury has indicted the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on hazing charges for a November 2016 incident in which a pledge was allegedly forced to roll around and feces and vomit, deprived of sleep, and body-slammed — which resulted in a lacerated spleen.
ABC News reported that prosecutors said they are zeroing in on a “brutal three-day rite” which entailed a University of Houston pledge allegedly being starved and made to run across a field naked before he was ambushed by frat members dressed in dark clothing. The university originally placed Pi Kappa Alpha under interim suspension in July, but the suspension was extended to 2023 in October, after the college’s investigation highlighted off-campus violations.
“Brotherhood and collegiate good times should be safe and hazing is not,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement obtained by The Houston Chronicle. “It is also illegal and that should be recognized by the dozens of fraternities and sororities on college campuses all over the Houston area.”
The newspaper reported that hazing is a misdemeanor which is punishable by a $10,000 fine. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office noted that the indictment is against the Tennessee-based fraternity and not against a single person.
In a statement, Pi Kappa Alpha claimed the incident occurred in a “context of activities” within the Epsilon Eta Chapter, which was disbanded in August after the hazing allegations came to light.
“The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity does not tolerate hazing, maltreatment of members, or any activities that do not treat individuals with dignity and respect,” the statement read.
“After allegations of hazing by Epsilon Eta Chapter were received by the International Fraternity, the Fraternity suspended the Chapter’s charter on August 2, 2017.”
[Featured Image: Pi Kappa Alpha/Twitter]