In the News: Hazing
Hazing was in the news again last week when an Andover teen was charged in connection with an incident that took place at a summer basketball camp on the Stonehill College campus, in 2011.
If your child is facing allegations of hazing, then you are likely dealing with an internal investigation by the school or a related entity, as well as a criminal investigation. An experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer can help protect your child on both fronts.
In Massachusetts, “hazing” is defined as any “method of initiation into any student organization . . . which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any person.” Examples of hazing include:
- Whipping, beating, branding;
- Forced calisthenics;
- Exposure to the weather;
- Forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance;
- Extended deprivation of sleep or rest;
- Extended isolation; or
- Any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity that is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any person, or which subjects a person to extreme mental stress.
The fact that the victim may have consented to the conduct is no defense to a charge of hazing.
Anyone who organizes or participates in hazing can be fined up to $3,000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year. Moreover, anyone who is present at the scene of a hazing and who fails to report the incident to law enforcement, as soon as reasonably practicable without endangering himself, may be fined up to $1,000.
Judges do have some discretion in these cases. In the Andover case, for example, based on statements made by the defendant after his arraignment, the judge continued the case, without a finding, for a period of two years, during which time the defendant will be subject to supervised probation and required to attend mandatory counseling, among other things. If the defendant violates any of the terms set by the judge or engages in any criminal activity during those two years, he will be resentenced and subject to jail time.
Contact Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer, Kevin J. Mahoney
Hazing investigations are complex and may involve school districts, university personnel, teachers, coaches, or fraternal organizations. In addition to potential criminal penalties, your child may be expelled from school or suffer other non-criminal, school-related consequences. If your child is facing hazing charges, and you would like to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer, please call me, at 617-492-0055, to schedule a free initial consultation.
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- The Shooting of Kathryn Steinle - January 2, 2018
- Massachusetts House Passes Major Criminal Justice Bill - December 7, 2017