Two freshmen students at the University of Missouri have sued the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity for an alleged assault by two of the fraternity’s members. The students also sued two members of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
According to reports, the plaintiffs in the suit, Sean Freihaut and Benjamin Poss, both of St. Louis, accuse the Sigma Phi Epsilon and the University of Missouri chapter did “little” to stop active members “from breaking rules regarding alcohol, drugs, and hazing.”
The lawsuit specifically mentions an alleged assault outside the fraternity house on September 22, claiming the national headquarters did not punish the chapter earlier.
via ABC 17:
The lawsuit details an alleged assault on the two freshmen by Nikolas Childress and Zachary Barabasz. Around 1:45 a.m., Childress and Barabasz rushed from the porch of the fraternity house and chased the two freshmen, who were walking nearby. The two eventually caught up to Freihaut and Poss near South Hall, where the new fraternity members “attacked, punched, kicked and/or struck” the victims, according to the lawsuit. One of the victims, the lawsuit claims, suffered a traumatic brain injury and “hardware used in the surgical reconstruction” of his face and jaw “is permanent.”
A probable cause statement from the University of Missouri Police Department said a security camera at South Hall captured Barabasz hitting one of the victims. Boone County prosecutors charged both men with third-degree assault, a felony, on Oct. 17. William Tackett, the attorney for both men in the criminal matter, declined to comment on their pending cases.
The university hired consulting firm Dyad Strategies, who recommended many changes to the university’s Greek Life policies, including a ban on freshmen living in fraternity houses.
This is the latest major fraternity violation in the last year, as schools such as Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State and Penn State have all suspended fraternities in the wake of hazing and alcohol deaths.
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