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Salisbury U. facing possible hazing lawsuit

Salisbury U. facing possible hazing lawsuit

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SALISBURY— The father of a Salisbury University student who reported being hazed by brothers of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity says the fraternity’s suspension isn’t sufficient punishment and he’s considering suing.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports Henry Stuart says he plan to meet with an attorney about a civil lawsuit against the fraternity and possibly the university. His son, who has since transferred to the University of Maryland, reported the hazing to Salisbury police in the spring semester of 2012.

“We don’t want some kid to die,” Stuart told the newspaper. “We’re sick of kids dying and kids going through what Justin experienced.”

Bloomberg News first reported earlier this week on the fraternity’s 2012 suspension over the hazing allegations. The school’s chapter of the fraternity has been suspended through this spring.

The Salisbury Police Department declined to release its investigation report, and officials declined to be interviewed by the paper. However, allegations in reports by the university police and the school’s community board include that pledges were beaten with a paddle, kept in a dark basement for hours without breaks for food and water, and forced to dress in women’s clothing and diapers.

During a separate incident, some pledges were said to have been forced to stand in a trash can filled with ice water while wearing only their underwear. The students had to recite the Greek alphabet and had cold water thrown on them if they made a mistake, the university police reports said.

Dane Foust, Salisbury University’s vice president of student affairs, said in a statement that “hazing and other illegal activities are not tolerated.”

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello said no charges were brought due to a lack of cooperation by witnesses, among other things.

The paper says the national chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon did not respond to requests for an interview.

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