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Hazing News

Chico case goes to trial

Judge rejects settlement, sending hazing case to trial
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 12/17/2007 12:39:22 PM PST

OROVILLE, Calif.—Three members of a defunct Chico State University fraternity will stand trial for allegedly forcing pledges to jump into ice baths and perform other hazing rituals last spring after a judge rejected a settlement offer.

The three former Beta Theta Pi officials—president, Christopher David Bizot, 23, vice president Michael Francis Murphy, 22, and fraternity ritualist, Matthew William Krupp, 22—are accused of subjecting 13 pledges to excessive calisthenics and immersion in “unhealthful ice baths” during rush activities last April.

The pledges say they were never in danger. Last month they proposed a settlement that would pay them $1 each.

Butte County Superior Court Judge Tamara Mosbarger on Monday sided with the county prosecutor, saying the settlement was an improper attempt to circumvent “Matt’s Law.”

The law was enacted last year after Matt Carrington, a Chico State student, died from water poisoning in 2005 after going through a fraternity ritual.

Lawyers for the three said they would appeal the judge’s ruling. If convicted, the defendants face up to one year in jail.

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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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