Fraternities, as well as sororities and other social organizations on college campuses, were created and developed to encourage strong social relationships among members and to provide various benefits conducive to one’s life as a college student. However, in recent months, stories have surfaced alleging that local fraternities have engaged in questionable conduct, especially inappropriate conduct towards women.
Pennsylvania University Fraternities Suspended
In March 2015, the Penn State Interfraternity Council placed the Penn State chapter of Kappa Delta Rho on full chapter suspension after police were alerted of two Facebook pages that featured photographs of nude, unconscious women, drug transactions, evidence of hazing, and highly questionable comments by members, former and current, of Kappa Delta Rho. The photographs were discovered after a former member of the Penn State chapter of Kappa Delta Rho informed police about the Facebook pages.
Pennsylvania Hazing Laws & Civil Action
According to the Affidavit used to obtain a Search Warrant to search the fraternity, many of the women featured in the photographs purported to be unaware that their pictures were taken. The photographs depicted women who were “passed out and nude or in other sexual or embarrassing positions…”. The first page, entitled “Covert Business Transactions” was shut down by its members after a woman, whose topless picture appeared on the Facebook page, threatened to notify authorities. Soon after, the fraternity members created “2.0,” which had 144 total active members, comprised of both current students and alumni. In a statement concerning Penn State’s investigation into matter, the Vice President for Student Affairs at Penn State, Damon Sims, stated that “[t]he evidence offered by the Facebook postings is appalling, offensive and inconsistent with the University community’s values and expectations.” A Philadelphia sex abuse victims’ attorney may be able to use the police findings, and university investigation, as evidence for a potential Civil Action.
Fraternity Misconduct & Violations
Misconduct by fraternities at local universities is not, however, limited to Penn State. On April 3, 2015, a West Chester University student was arrested and charged with three counts of rape and other charges relating to an incident during the early hours of March 29, 2015 at the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house at West Chester University. The alleged rape occurred during a party at the fraternity house. This incident marks the sixth sexual assault reported to police by West Chester University this school year. It is not clear if the student was a member of the fraternity at this time. The fraternity where the alleged rape occurred at West Chester University is the same fraternity, but a different Chapter, from Penn State described above.
Are You A Victim of Hazing or Misconduct?
If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or rape, the law can not only hold the perpetrators criminally accountable, but it may also provide avenues for you to obtain monetary compensation for any physical, emotional, or economic injuries you suffered as the result of these crimes. Institutions and organizations can also be held responsible for incidents that took place due to their failure to take reasonable measures to protect against sexual assault.
Experienced & Skilled Hazing & Abuse Lawyers
The attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C. have the experience and skill necessary for you to hold the perpetrators and/or their associated institutions accountable for their actions or failure to take any actions. Slade McLaughlin and Paul Lauricella know what it takes to get clients justice by holding those responsible accountable for their actions from the ground up – from the individual perpetrators all the way up the chain to the institution that enabled the conduct. Contact McLaughlin & Lauricella today for your free and confidential consultation.