Hazing News

US Merchant Marine Academy embroiled in a messy, complicated hazing case: Newsday reports

USMMA Scandal Link  


Seven former members of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men’s soccer team committed sexually abusive acts against a freshman player in September and bullied him for at least a month afterward, a government lawyer said Friday in federal court in Central Islip.

The students — all seniors who were not allowed to graduate in June — must appear in separate administrative hearings before the Kings Point school’s executive board to answer allegations of sexual misconduct, coercion and hazing, Assistant U.S. Attorney James H. Knapp said at the status conference.

Lawyers for the students, who have denied all the allegations, repeatedly objected to the academy’s disciplinary charges being read in court. U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler denied their objections.

Knapp said “physical abuse” and “unreasonable verbal taunting” occurred on Sept. 2 and Sept. 10 on team bus trips to games at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, respectively.

They also “hazed by humiliation and physical act by squirting water and/or urine and by covering with food several individuals” on the bus, he said.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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