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Buffalo News: UB Case against Lambda Phi Epsilon may fall apart

Without victim’s return, hazing case will expire
By Matt Gryta
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
June 27, 2009, 7:01 AM / 0 comments

Five University at Buffalo students and a D’Youville College nursing school student learned Friday that criminal charges against them will be dropped if the victim of a fraternity hazing refuses to return to the city for court proceedings.

City Judge James A. W. McLeod moved the case to the court’s Reserve Calender, for Aug. 5, after prosecutor Patrick B. Shanahan said the victim of the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity hazing is currently unwilling to return from Brooklyn for further action in the case. The judge said the case would die Aug. 5 if not reactivated.

The six students— Kong M. Siu, 21, of Bayside; Ronald Lin, 21, Brooklyn; Qiyvan Zhang, 22, Groton; Brian B. Shim, 22, Syosett; Andrew Lui, 21, Brooklyn; and Ho Lee, 22, of Woodbury— are accused of paddling the victim and other pledges, then forcing them to consume alcohol until they vomited or lost consciousness.

Their attorney, Edward C. Cosgrove, who got prosecutors to drop felony assault charges, said he will be conferring soon with officials at UB in an attempt to get diplomas for Lui and Lee, who were supposed to graduate last month.

Shim completed his junior year in D’Youville’s nursing program without incident.

Cosgrove said he spoke on Thursday to the alleged victim, who said he did not suffer any injuries and has transferred to another college.

The six suspects are free on $4,000 cash bail. They were charged by Buffalo police with felony assault counts and the misdemeanor hazing charge. The hazing occurred in a Winspear Avenue address on April 26.

The alleged hazing victims were found by police “unconscious” in a locked, upstairs bedroom, then treated at the Erie County Medical Center for “dehydration, alcohol poisoning, blood in urine, severe pain, swelling and bruising to buttocks.”

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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