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Fairhaven update from SouthCoast Today

Hazing victim’s family files suit
January 17, 2009 6:00 AM

FAIRHAVEN — The family of the Fairhaven High School student victimized in the Camp Wishbone hazing incident filed suit Friday in federal court, seeking compensation for the serious physical and emotional injuries caused by the town’s and other individuals’ alleged actions.

“As a direct and proximate result of the defendants’ negligence, the plaintiffs suffered physical injuries, indignities, humiliation, severe emotional distress, mental anguish and invasion of bodily integrity,” stated the complaint, filed on behalf of the Marujo family by their attorneys.

The civil suit stems from a hazing incident during July 2006 in which Matthew Marujo was physically and sexually abused by fellow football teammates who videotaped the abuse.

According to the complaint, the defendants’ actions — and their failures to act — allowed the hazing to happen, thus causing Matthew and his family to suffer emotionally and physically.

Named as defendants in the suit were:

* Robert Baldwin, superintendent of the Fairhaven School District.
* Dana Almeida, the director of Camp Wishbone at the time of the hazing and a former Fairhaven football coach.
* Chris Foster, the head coach of the high school’s football team at the time of the incident. Mr. Foster resigned from that position shortly after the Camp Wishbone incident but returned to coaching this year as Fairhaven’s indoor track coach.
* Scott Francis, the school’s athletic director.
* Jean Cote, the former principal who took a medical leave from his position at the start of the 2007-08 school year and later left the district.
* The Fairhaven School Committee.
* The town of Fairhaven.
* Camp Wishbone, a summer football camp atten

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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