Arrest warrants for 46 members of the New Hampshire Beta Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at the University of New Hampshire have been issued by police following an April hazing incident at a pledging event.
While the Durham Police Department did not provide details, they did say in a statement that the alleged misconduct took place at the SAE chapter house on April 13 and involved new members of the fraternity.
The warrants were issued on June 7, the Daily Mail reports, and so far, according to the Strafford County attorney’s office, “a handful” of the students charged with the misdemeanor offense of student hazing have surrendered themselves to police.
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Service Center tells us it began its own investigation when it was made aware of an incident in April. SAE immediately issued a Cease and Desist of the chapter, began its own investigation, and informed UNH officials. pic.twitter.com/RVYKjrpCDs
— Tim Callery (@TimCalWMUR) June 10, 2022
Erika Mantz, a spokesperson for the University of New Hampshire said the school learned of the incident from SAE’s national headquarters and immediately contacted Durham Police.
“We have cooperated with police throughout the investigation and the fraternity was interim suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation,” Mantz said. “We take any allegation of hazing very seriously, and now that the police investigation is complete, we will be initiating a formal conduct process.”
Police noted that the university’s Beta chapter has been suspended as a result of the allegations, effectively excommunicating the Durham members from the national SAE organization.
To date, 10 people have been charged with hazing and face a max fine of $1,200.
The rest of the warrants were issued for those who were hazed and those who watched the incident go down but failed to report it.
“The law allows us to charge those who were the subjects and actors of the hazing as well as those who were present for the hazing and didn’t report it,” explained Deputy County Attorney Emily Garod. “The 46 individuals charged fall within all three of these categories.”
The investigation into the SAE members began five days after police received a tip alleging hazing at the frat house.
In the subsequent warrant, police also directly charged the fraternity chapter with student hazing. As the SAE is an organization, the chapter faces a fine of up to $20,000.
The national organization, based in Illinois, said it “immediately issued a cease and desist of the chapter, began our own investigation, and informed the University of New Hampshire’s administration” upon learning of the allegations. When the Durham Police Department launched its investigation into the incident, SAE paused theirs and is now cooperating with DPD’s efforts.
“Sigma Alpha Epsilon denounces all acts of hazing and misconduct that do not represent the Fraternity’s values defined by our creed, The True Gentleman,” SAE added.
Of the ten who turned themselves in and were arrested, Durham PD said “all were released on hand summonses,” according to WMUR9 reporter Tim Callery, who covered the story in a lengthy Twitter thread.
They are slated for an appearance in Dover Circuit Court on July 13.
Update: Durham PD says 10 of the 46 have been arrested and charged with Hazing. All were released on hand summonses and are scheduled to appear in Dover Circuit Court on July 13.
— Tim Callery (@TimCalWMUR) June 10, 2022
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