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Hazing victims to testify in Annapolis

ANNAPOLIS — Victims of hazing are sharing their stories in support of a bill that would strengthen penalties for offenders.

At least three Maryland students are testifying on Tuesday before a House committee in favor of tougher hazing laws.

Two proposed bills would raise the maximum fine for hazing from $500 to $5,000 and increase prison time from six months to nine months.

Maryland prohibits hazing, which is defined as an action that forces students to put themselves at risk of bodily harm for the purpose of joining a club or organization.

Current law states that hazing is a misdemeanor and carries no more than a $500 fine or six months behind bars as punishment.