Hazing News

Sig Ep members skate on technicality; one copped plea: Source WCTV

Read the WCTV account

Two FSU students and a TCC student accused of hazing will have their records wiped clean after prosecutors are forced to drop the charges.

Nicholas Finazzo, Drew Johnson and Joshua Vincent were arrested on misdemeanor hazing charges back in January 2007.

They were caught in the crawl space beneath a home on Bonnie Drive after the mother of a Sigma Phi Epsilon pledge called police.

FSU Police responded to the scene and after hearing screams called Tallahassee Police for help, but a recent court ruling says FSU police did not have jurisdiction off campus and prosecutors have since dropped the charges.

“Law enforcement officers like the rest of us have to follow the rules. (In this case) they didn’t and that’s why the case was dismissed,” said Finazzo’s attorney Lisa Hurley.

Prosecutor Stephanie Webster says she has no doubt a crime was committed at the house, but with all the evidence now thrown out, obviously she cannot prove it.

Tony Bajoczky, who represents Joshua Vincent, called Judge Francis’s decision a good one and says he hopes FSU Police will pay attention to it. They don’t have carte blanche to investigate or make arrests off campus, he says.

A fourth student, Eric Fernandez, already entered a plea in this case and served a mix of jail time and probation.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; 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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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