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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2005   :  US Illicit Nov 2005

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UNITED STATES

Illicit CP - November 2005



Corpun file 16927

masthead
Huntsville Times, Alabama, 5 November 2005

A&M band coeds tell of paddling

Parents allege 8 blindfolded, beaten in hazing incident

By David Holden
Times Staff Writer

The parent of a student at Alabama A&M University said Friday eight female marching band members were blindfolded and beaten with a wooden paddle in an alleged hazing incident directed by band section leaders.

Reggie and Carmen Moore of Fort Wayne, Ind., filed a report Friday with campus police alleging that their daughter was assaulted by upperclassmen.

A number of calls to several university officials and representatives for comment on the allegations were not returned.

Carmen Moore said four girls who play the flute and four who play the clarinet were called about 10 p.m. Monday and told to dress in white T-shirts and black sweat pants before reporting to a section leader's apartment where the alleged hazing took place, Carmen Moore said.

The Moores said their daughter called them Monday night injured and crying.

"Hazing is illegal, and my daughter was assaulted," said Reggie Moore, a police officer in Indiana. "I didn't bring her here to be subjected to that."

Loretta Robinson of Montgomery, another band parent, said Friday her daughter, a flutist, is under a doctor's care because of her injuries.

Robinson said her daughter told her the students were struck several times by at least 10 people. Some of the girls went to the infirmary to be treated for bruises, she said.

Robinson and the Moores said they are unsatisfied with school officials' response.

The band was suspended over the allegations, university officials announced Wednesday. But the suspension was lifted late Thursday, and the band will perform today when the Alabama A&M Bulldogs play Jackson State University.

"I'm very disappointed about the university's response to this situation," Robinson said. "They suspended the band for only one evening. It is a slap in the face to these kids that are hurting."

Some parents met Friday with Dr. Shirley Houser, the university's vice president of student affairs. Houser was not available for comment.

Moore said her daughter wanted to attend a historically African-American university and loved A&M.

"My daughter is telling me that there are about 50 freshmen enduring this hazing every single week," Moore said. "They are scared to talk about it, because they are told they will be punished if they tell."

Carmen Moore said she and her husband brought their van to Huntsville in case they have to move their daughter back home.

"We are not going to let her stay here if the university cannot guarantee her safety," she said.

2005 The Huntsville Times 2005 al.com All Rights Reserved.




Corpun file 16963

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, 15 November 2005

Judge orders spank-case paddle destroyed

By Jim Brooks

A key piece of evidence in the "spanking stripper case" — an 18-inch wooden paddle, drilled full of 16 holes and inscribed with the assumed name of the dancer who wielded it — will have to be destroyed so it doesn't wind up being sold for profit, a Pulaski County district judge ruled Monday.

Judge Wayne Gruber made the ruling after three dancers and two employees of Sensations Night Club in Jacksonville pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges, ending the sensational case that spawned national headlines this summer after sheriff 's deputies arrested the five on felony charges for their roles in a birthday spanking that left a Bald Knob trucker with a bruised backside.

Second-degree battery charges were dismissed against the dancers — Charlene Smith, 23, Lisa Nolen, 23, and Kelly Eslick, 21. Gruber fined them and club employees James Daugherty, 31, and Dena Mitchell, 30, $ 100 each.

The defendants also agreed to waive any appeal of the case and agreed that they wouldn't seek to have the charges expunged later.

"After reviewing the file, we came up with a disposition that we felt was fair to all concerned," Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Melanie Martin said.

At the end of the brief hearing Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jay Shue had an additional request.

"We're asking that the weapon in this case — the paddle — be destroyed," Shue asked the judge.

Gruber then signed an order allowing the sheriff's office to destroy the paddle, marked with the name "Velvet" on the handle and with the letters "O U C H" printed down the side, because prosecutors thought the national publicity of the case might make the item a potential seller on the Internet auction site eBay.

The story hit national wires and Jay Leno joked about it in one of his Tonight Show monologues.

Whitney Richards, of American Gold and Gem Exchange, which does about three-quarters of its business in a service putting items up on the Internet auction site, said the national attention gained by the case would have driven up any bids if the paddle had been placed up for auction.

"It just depends," Richards said. "If it's gotten a lot of coverage and people have heard about it, there's no telling how much it would bring."

Sheriff's deputies interviewed more than a dozen people during their investigation. Club employees told investigators that the regularly offered "birthday special" cost $ 25 and involved two parts — an initial dance in which the honoree was handcuffed to a chair while dancers performed "lap dances" and a second portion in which the partier received several strikes from a belt or a paddle specifically crafted for the occasion.

Mitchell told investigator Mike Blain that 30 to 40 birthday specials were sold each month, and on the night in question — June 17 — a woman had received a birthday spanking before Bald Knob truck driver Keith Lowery received his.

Blain also interviewed Lowery, 31, and several of the dancers, according to a copy of the investigative file obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Lowery told detectives that the pain from the spanking was "so severe that it brought tears to his eyes."

"I tried to make them stop," he said. "One of the managers, bouncers came up there and said, ' Look, you might as well bend over and take it like a man, otherwise it's going to be worse.'"

"And I was like, man, look, they're hurting me, please make them stop," Lowery told the detectives. "And he said, 'I wouldn't do it even if I could.'"

The dancers gave investigators another version of the story, saying that Lowery was a willing participant.

Eslick, whose dancing name "Velvet" appears on the paddle, said Lowery never complained.

"Ms. Eslick stated that when the victim was brought onto the stage and given the lap dance, she stated that he was being overly perverted, but the dance continued," Blain wrote in a summary of his interview with the dancer.

"Ms. Eslick stated that after the first few licks, the victim began to run around the pole and was taunting the dancers by saying that they could not hurt him," the detective continued. "Ms. Eslick stated that the victim was being irritating because of the lack of participating properly in the event."

Eslick said that Daugherty approached the stage during the spanking to talk to Lowery about his attempts to run around the pole to evade the spanking.

"James approached the stage and told him : 'You better be still or these girls are going to get mad,'" Eslick said.

After the spanking, Eslick walked up to Lowery, gave him a hug and wished him a happy birthday, she said.

"He still stuck around till closing time after that," she said.

Prosecutors said the case caused the club, and a sister club, Visions Night Club in Morgan, to discontinue the practice of birthday spanking.

"Part of our interest in the case was to make sure that the club stopped that type of entertainment," Martin said.

Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley agreed.

"We suggest cake and ice cream parties for birthdays in the future," he said.

Copyright 2001-2004 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.




Corpun file 16964

New York Daily News, 17 November 2005

Hazing hell at Seton Hall

2 in frat charged in teen's beating

By Derek Rose
Daily News Staff Writer

Mark Minett

Two members of a rogue fraternity at Seton Hall University face a lot more than double secret probation after allegedly kidnapping and beating up a pledge who had complained to school officials about violent hazing.

The 19-year-old pledge went to administrators at the South Orange, N.J., school after he was paddled so hard his buttocks turned red. The complaint prompted the school to call all of its Greek societies in for a meeting last Thursday on the dangers of violent hazing.

After the meeting broke up, Tau Kappa Epsilon frat brothers Bradley Watson and Mark Minett allegedly lured the victim into a car. There, they roughed him up and threatened him with a baseball bat, police and school officials said yesterday.

Watson, 23, of Brooklyn, and Minett, 20, of Red Bank, N.J., face charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threats and weapons possession.

"This was a situation that started out as hazing and turned into something much much more," said university spokesman Thomas White. "Seton Hall is outraged by this type of behavior."

A day after the student was paddled, he presented "photographic evidence" of his injuries to the student affairs division - prompting the university to hold the powwow, White said. When the session broke up, the pledge got into a car with Watson and Minett, ostensibly to talk things through.

Instead they threw a coat over his head, drove him off-campus and assaulted him, White said. Afterward, the pair dumped him a block from the campus, and the victim promptly called police.

Minett and Watson, who could not be reached for comment, were arrested later that night and released on $250,000 bail, police said.

On a Web site of college student profiles (thefacebook.com), Watson poses shirtless, while Minett boasts, "You only live life once, but if you live like me once is enough."

In a statement, the national TKE fraternity said it had revoked its Seton Hall chapter's authorization in May.

"Any group claiming to be a TKE chapter at Seton Hall is doing so without authorization, and they are not a recognized part of our fraternity," said CEO Kevin Mayeux.

The assault was the talk of campus yesterday, with students embarrassed for Seton Hall.

Junior Mark Hannan, 21, called the frat "basically a gang with letters," because it lacks national and university recognition.




Corpun file 17039

masthead
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia, 30 November 2005

Firefighter hazing inquiry ends

By Eric Stirgus

Henry County officials ended an investigation into hazing allegations Tuesday by disciplining four firefighters for hitting each other on the buttocks with wooden paddles.

Henry Public Safety Director Mike Turner said the investigation showed the paddling was not hazing or part of a ritualistic indoctrination of new firefighters. Turner said the paddling began as teasing that escalated into "horseplay" that went too far.

"It was one of these immature things that got out of control," said Turner.

County officials said the paddling took place over several months at Fire Station 1 in McDonough and that fire supervisors were not aware of it. A county employee told officials about the paddling.

Turner would not release the firefighters' names or the severity of the punishment, saying it is still considered a disciplinary matter. Turner said the firefighters have 10 days to appeal the decision with county commissioners.



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