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Muncie Star-Press: Ball State sorority vandalism allegations get day in court Sept. 18

Police theorize that feces-spreading and damage to to cars was revenge by Ball State sorority women getting back at woman who reported hazing http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20120910/BUSTED/309100014/sorority-hazing-vandalism?nclick_check=1

Good story by Doug Walker: As a result, four current or former BSU students face criminal prosecution.

EXCERPT: Charged last week with two counts each of criminal mischief, a Class D felony carrying a standard 18-month prison term, were:

• Briana N. Fulton, 21, 3701 N. Marleon Drive

• Bianca T. Humphrey, 22, 4524 W. Bethel Ave.

• Lauren L. Mason, 22, University Park, Ill.

• Leteria L. Bigbee, 21, Indianapolis, who is reported to be a friend of her co-defendants, but not a member of their sorority.

A police report reflects the second felony charge stems from damage done by mistake to the vehicle of another BSU student, who had no ties to the sorority controversy.

When the vandals realized they had struck the wrong vehicle, investigators said, they returned to the same apartment complex and damaged the car of their intended victim.

The events leading to the filing of the criminal charges purportedly stem from a complaint a student filed with BSU police last January, alleging that tasks she had been asked to perform to join Zeta Phi Beta sorority represented hazing, and that she was otherwise being harassed by sorority members and their friends.

Ball State officials placed the sorority on probation, and ordered its members to stay away from the former pledge.

In May, sorority members allegedly learned where their accuser lived, and set in motion a plan to vandalize her car.

On the night of May 10-11, Fulton, Humphrey, Bigbee and Mason are accused of going to Forest Oaks Apartments, 4100 W. Woods Edge Lane, and vandalizing what they believed to be the car of the ex-pledge.

That vehicle actually belonged to a 24-year-old male student, who reported he found his car smeared with dog feces and nail-polish remover, and damage to its body and windows that appeared to have been inflicted with a rock or key. Among other things, a smiley face and the word “bitch” had been scratched onto the vehicle, investigators said.

The cost of repairing that car was estimated at more than $4,500.

The defendants are accused of returning to the apartment complex the same night, realizing they had vandalized the wrong vehicle, and then inflicting similar damage on the ex-pledge’s car.

When the charges were filed last week, prosecutors did not request that arrest warrants be issued. Instead, the four defendants will receive summonses to appear at initial hearings in Delaware Circuit Court 3 on Sept. 18.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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