- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Consent by victims is no defense against incidents of hazing, police in Lincoln say. But that hasn’t kept those facing discipline for hazing incidents at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from trying.

University police point to a recent investigation into a 2014 video that appears to show a fraternity member being branded with the fraternity’s letters.

When questioned, members of the fraternity said the student being branded willingly took part, police told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1SzBimW ). UNL Police Sgt. Dave Dibelka said police are still investigating the branding video.

Another case reported last week saw UNL police called to a campus parking lot. There, police say a group of male students dressed in black pinned another student to the ground before covering him in a sheet and throwing him into the back of a van.

Officers later found the van, the alleged victim and about a dozen other UNL students.

The student who was reportedly put in the van told police the incident was a prank in which he voluntarily participated. Officers gave the students a warning.

State law does not excuse instances of hazing, even when victims agree to take part.

“You can’t consent to a hazing,” Dibelka said. “It’s spelled out in the statute that that is not a defense.”

A similar rule is spelled out in UNL’s student code of conduct, warning students that activities that “could reasonably be expected to diminish the reputation of the group … or the university, whether inside or outside of the university” are not excused even if victims assert they took part willingly.

“The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense,” the code says.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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