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Lincoln Journal Star: Christopher Wozniak, 22, and Samuel Bates, 20,

JournalStar.com
Two Sigma Chi members plead no contest in hazing case
By CORY MATTESON / Lincoln Journal Star
Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 – 08:44:00 pm CDT
Two Sigma Chi fraternity members charged in connection to the hazing of University of Nebraska-Lincoln students pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count each of procuring alcohol for a minor.

Both Christopher Wozniak, 22, and Samuel Bates, 20, were found guilty by Lancaster County Judge Gale Pokorny. They are scheduled to be sentenced July 31 for the misdemeanor offenses.

In all, eight Sigma Chi members were charged with hazing or procuring alcohol for a minor, or both. Neither Wozniak nor Bates were ever charged with hazing former Sigma Chi pledges.

In February, a former pledge told UNL police he was subjected to several hazing activities, including one in which a stripper —acting at the request of a Sigma Chi member — briefly anally penetrated him with a vibrator.

Several times beginning in March, UNL police searched the Sigma Chi house, 1510 Vine St., and uncovered evidence to support some hazing allegations, including a letter to the fraternity’s national organization detailing a paddling incident and a party involving strippers, according to court documents.

Court documents also show former pledges reported paying $200 each for a “social fund” used to buy alcohol, including for underage fraternity members. Police found evidence of the fund in the house, including a bank statement addressed to the Sigma Chi Social Fund.

Police found an abundance of alcohol in the house. Alcohol is forbidden on the UNL campus.

UNL has since suspended the fraternity.

Three members of the fraternity still face charges of hazing and procuring alcohol for a minor. Two members still face hazing charges, and one member still faces a procuring alcohol for a minor charge.

All six fraternity members who still face charges are scheduled to appear in Lancaster County Court on Monday.

Procuring alcohol for a minor is a Class I misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year’s imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. There is no minimum penalty.

Copyright © 2002-2009 Lincoln Journal Star. All rights reserved.

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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