Eighteen current and former Miami University students and former brothers of the Delta Tau Delta (Delts) fraternity have been charged with a total of 68 counts of misdemeanor assault and hazing. The charges come one month after Miami suspended the fraternity for repeatedly assaulting a new member last spring during a fraternity brother Big/Little Reveal event.
Over the summer, the university concluded its investigation and released findings in its report, which detailed the new member’s account of the events as well as police reports and text exchanges between the victim and other fraternity brothers.
The new member, who has remained anonymous due to federal privacy law, said he was blindfolded, kicked, punched, spit on, forced to drink alcohol and smoke weed while being hit with a spiked paddle on his buttocks multiple times.
Before the hazing one former Delt texted the new member that the abuse “turn[s] boys into men” and even though it “fucking sucks ... it pays off in the end,” according to a text message exchange from Miami’s investigation.
Eight out of the 18 men charged: Michael Keen, Page MacKeigan, Connor Meek, Grady McMichen, Samay Pahouja, Nicholas Carmichael, Benjamin Grossheim and Bennett Faloni are still students at Miami, according to the university’s student directory.
A former member of Miami Greek life confirmed that seven of the 18 students were expelled last semester: Hugh Webster, Joshua Plaster, Tyler Glowaski, Alex Niezyniecki, Scott Sidner, Nicholas Griswold and Nico Londa.
Two of the students, Liam Newcomer and Jonathan Raush, graduated last May.
The final student, former Delts chapter president and junior, Andrew Brinkman, transferred to The Ohio State University, according to OSU’s student directory.
All 18 men are facing at least two charges. Glowaski faces seven various misdemeanors while Brinkman and Webster are facing six charges each.
The Miami Student has made several attempts to reach out to all 18 men charged, but none have returned requests for comment.
Delta Tau Delta fraternity’s national brand communications manager, Jean Lloyd, released a statement saying that Delta Tau Delta is aware of the indictments, but won’t comment on individual cases. Grant Zedner, the president of Miami’s Inter-fraternity Council (IFC) declined to comment on the Delts’ charges.
The charges come after a grand jury in Butler County determined there was only enough evidence to charge the 18 men with a series of misdemeanors.
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The Student cannot confirm whether the grand jury was considering felony charges at this time.
But, according to the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association (OPAA), “Grand juries consider felonies, which are crimes punishable by imprisonment. Lesser offenses, called misdemeanors, are considered solely by the prosecutor’s office.”
Butler County assistant prosecutor, Willa Concannon, declined to comment on whether or not she initially pursued felony charges.
Court proceedings will begin in Area 1 court at the Oxford Courthouse, but the cases have not been scheduled yet.
Miami’s chief marketing and communications officer Michele Gaither Sparks wrote in an email to The Student that, “This is a serious and pivotal moment for Miami’s Greek community. We hope that it will continue to rally our campus to work together to end hazing and alcohol abuse at Miami and to preserve the rich heritage of Miami’s Greek life.”
“We cannot comment on any separate case as each of these individuals are entitled to their day in court,” she wrote.
Gaither Sparks said the university is not aware if there have been other Miami fraternities or sororities that have faced criminal charges as a result of hazing in the past.
But court proceedings for the 18 current and former students have just begun.
“It’s still under investigation officially,” said Oxford Police Department Lieutenant Lara Fening. “Just because these indictments came down doesn't mean that we’re done. There’s still lots of work to do yet.”
Additional reporting for this story was contributed by news editor Rachel Berry and assistant news editor Briah Lumpkins. Follow @miamistudent on Twitter and check back to our website miamistudent.net for further updates.