Hazing charges against UH fraternity dismissed


HOUSTON – A criminal indictment against the University of Houston's Pi Kappa Alpha chapter has been dismissed by a Harris County judge.

Officials said it was dismissed "for its unconstitutional failure to allege an offense."

The International Fraternity said its position is that the individual perpetrators of hazing should be charged with the crimes.

In a statement, the International Fraternity said, "The International Fraternity, which represents thousands of students across North America who had nothing to do with this incident and had no knowledge these activities were occurring, moved to immediately suspend the former chapter at Houston once it was informed."

The University of Houston's chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was indicted Dec. 14, 2017, on a charge of hazing in connection with a 2016 incident.

According to prosecutors, the charges stemmed from an incident in which one pledge was body-slammed during a "glow stick game."

The "game" is played at nighttime while pledges are running in a field carrying a glow stick, and are tackled unexpectedly by people wearing dark clothing, officials said. That particular student suffered a ruptured spleen as a result, prosecutors said.

The investigation also found that pledges were instructed to go on a scavenger hunt and bring back particular items, officials said. However, some of the items to be found were not items for sale in a store and therefore had to be stolen, according to prosecutors.

In October 2017, university leaders suspended the fraternity from campus until 2023. It was not the first fraternity at UH to be suspended after allegations of hazing. The Sigma Chi fraternity and five of its members were banned from the campus in 2015.

It was the first time a hazing prosecution case was brought in Harris County.