Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student faces criminal charges after alleged SAE fraternity hazing

CW / Riley Thompson
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house in Tuscaloosa.

Criminal charges have been filed against a member of the Mother Mu chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity following an alleged hazing incident that occurred in August

The defendant is facing two Class C misdemeanor charges: harassment and criminal hazing. Each charge carries the possibility of up to a three-month jail sentence and a $500 fine. 

A civil lawsuit was filed in Jefferson County in September against six defendants and has since been moved to Tuscaloosa County. The new criminal suit, however, is against only one member of the fraternity. 

The original lawsuit described an alleged hazing incident, which accuses the student facing criminal charges of telling a new member to “snort a white powdery substance.” The new member was then “told he was going to die” after refusing. 

The lawsuit also directly accused the student of beating the new member and throwing beer cans at his head.

The defendant was arrested on Monday, and his bond was set at $300 for each charge. He has since been released from jail.

Tommy Spina, an attorney representing the defendant, said that although multiple individuals were accused of harassment in the original lawsuit, his client is the only one being prosecuted. 

“On its face, it makes me question his motivation in bringing the charges, particularly in light of the pending civil complaint,” Spina wrote in an email. He added that “anything else I have to say about this will be said in court when my client will have his first opportunity to confront his accuser and exercise his 6th amendment right to cross examine the accuser pursuant to his constitutional rights provided for by both the state and United States constitution. We look forward to that opportunity,”

Following the incident in August, SAE was placed on disciplinary probation by the University through the end of the fall 2024 semester. The chapter was also given educational sanctions and lost privileges from the University, along with sanctions from its national organization. 

“Any reports of hazing are taken seriously and fully investigated, which includes coordination with law enforcement as appropriate,” said Alex House, UA assistant director of communications. 

SAE did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

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