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Tulane case dropped like a hot potato by D.A.

Tulane frat members won’t be charged in hazing incident
by Gwen Filosa, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday October 07, 2008, 11:09 AM

Orleans Parish prosecutors refused to charge five members of a Tulane University fraternity arrested this spring in what police called a hazing that included the pouring of crab-boil and boiling water on two pledges.

A preliminary hearing had been scheduled today in the Magistrate section of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. Instead, the district attorney’s office announced it would seek no charges against the five men, all originally booked with aggravated second-degree battery.

Booked were Joseph Lorono, 21, of New York; Randall Graham, 20, of Michigan; Nicholas Maddern, 22, of Massachusetts; Kevin Dunn, 20, of New York; and Jeremy Bendat, 22, of California.

The five were arrested May 6 days after an hours-long hazing either at or near the fraternity house on Broadway, late night April 25 or the pre-dawn hours April 26, sources familiar with the investigation said.

Tulane suspended its chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity after the arrests and promised its own investigation.

At some point, crab-boil and other things were poured on the pledges’ bodies and boiling water poured over that, tearing their skin in places, according to the sources.

The two victims had “second- and third-degree burns” to various parts of the body that included the back, chest, neck and arms,” the sources said.

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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