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Ex-Stevenson University Student Files $4M Hazing Lawsuit Against Kappa Alpha Psi

Johnny Powell II, who recently graduated from Stevenson University, is suing the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity for $4 million. The 22-year-old claims that the members of the historically black fraternity house beat him so brutally that he needed hospital care for several days. He also is claiming false imprisonment and hazing, which allegedly occurred in early 2013.

Even though there are typically rituals that are considered traditional aspects of pledging activities in most fraternities, Powell said that the beating he was given was extremely severe and he was struck, “caned, and paddled” on numerous occasions. He also contends that he was forced to drink alcohol with garlic powder and perform push-ups while there were beer bottle caps under his hands, among other acts. Even though he eventually became a fraternity member at Coppin State University-Powell joined the chapter there because his initial intention was to start one at Stevenson University-he claims that other members alienated him.

He is seeking damages from the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, current and ex-officers with the Coppin chapter, as well as the alumni chapter in the Baltimore area.

This is the second hazing lawsuit against a regional fraternity in the last couple of months. In December, a student at Bowie State University sued the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for $3 million. Kevin Hayes contends that while undergoing hazing as a pledge in 2013, he was harassed and abused.

The 20-year-old says that after he documented bruises he sustained while pledging, fraternity members bullied and threatened him. Hayes says that although fraternity officials were notified about his claims nothing was done to deal with what happened. He is suing the national and local chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha and three chapter members accused of taking part in or knowing about the hazing.

The fraternity’s website says that it does not allow any kind of hazing.

Hazing can lead to serious injuries. If you were seriously injured or someone you loved died while undergoing hazing at a fraternity or a sorority, you may have reason to pursue a Boston personal injury lawsuit against the parties that were involved in the hazing or who allowed/failed to prevent the activities from happening.

Certain fraternities have also come under fire of late over allegations of rape. There was the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia, which was named in an alleged gang rape in a Rolling Stone article. Police say that they have been unable to confirm the accusations and the magazine has since retracted the story.

This month, Duke University suspended the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity over allegations made by a female student who said she was raped at a party at the fraternity’s off-campus house. The woman told police that she passed out after drinking hot chocolate and when she woke up the next day she wasn’t wearing underwear and had someone else’s shirt on.

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you may have reason for pursuing a Boston campus crime case. Unfortunately, crimes on campus do happen. Altman & Altman, LLP helps victims file claims and lawsuits against the negligent parties.

Harford County man sues fraternity for hazing, Baltimore Sun, January 23, 2015

Bowie State University student sues Maryland fraternity over alleged hazing, The Washington Post, December 29, 2014
Duke University suspends Alpha Delta Phi fraternity amid rape investigation, CBS News, January 21, 2015

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