46 Members of UNH Fraternity Face Charges in Hazing Incident
Arrest warrants have been issued for 46 members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity (SAE) at the University of New Hampshire over a hazing incident in April.
Durham police said they began an investigation after being notified five days later of an incident that took place on April 13 at the fraternity house on Madbury Road during an event involving new members.
The investigation determined there was probable cause that the crime of student hazing had occurred.
Emily Garod of the Strafford County Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting the case, told Seacoast Current that she could not disclose the details of the hazing incident.
SAE was "interim suspended" following the incident pending an investigation, according to the UNH website. The fraternity had three other violations dating back to 2017 that resulted in a letter of reprimand. According to the UNH website, SAE has 82 members.
Under New Hampshire law, hazing is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a $1,200 fine. It is an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by up to a $20,000.00 fine when brought against an organization.
End of Academic Year Makes Arrests Slow
The arrest warrants were issued on Tuesday against both the New Hampshire Beta chapter and the individual members. Garod said some of the warrants have already been served.
"Some have been arrested, and we're giving the opportunity for those who have the arrest warrants to turn themselves in. That process is ongoing," Garod said. "But obviously the school year is over, so a lot of these people are no longer living in town."
Durham Police Friday afternoon identified four people as being arrested:
- Seth Burdick, South Hampton, NH - Age 19
- Benjamin Chase, Hampton, NH - Age 18
- Robert Doherty, Wolfeboro, NH - Age 19
- Daniel Fachiol, Hampden, ME - Age 21
- Charles Farrah, Grafton, MA - Age 20
- Robert Hardy, Atkinson, NH - Age 21
- Oliver Jacques, Auburn, ME - Age 19
- Gabriel Kwan, Winchester, MA - Age 21
- Mason Steele, Williston, VT - Age 19
- Colby Travis, Pelham, NH - Age 19
All were released on hand summonses and are scheduled to appear for arraignment on Wednesday, July 13 in the 7th Circuit Court, Dover District.
UNH spokeswoman Erika Mantz told Seacoast Current the school learned of the hazing incident from SAE's national headquarters and then notified Durham Police.
"We have cooperated with police throughout the investigation and the fraternity was interim suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation. We take any allegation of hazing very seriously, and now that the police investigation is complete, we will be initiating a formal conduct process," Mantz said in a statement.
The fraternity's national office, called the service center, said it is aware of the incident.
"Upon learning of the alleged incident, SAE immediately issued a Cease and Desist of the chapter, began our own investigation, and informed The University of New Hampshire's administration. SAE's investigation was paused upon being notified about the opening of a police investigation. We are fully cooperating with the local authorities' investigation and have urged all of our members to do the same," the fraternity said in a statement.
"Sigma Alpha Epsilon denounces all acts of hazing and misconduct that do not represent the Fraternity's values defined by our creed, The True Gentleman."
Durham Town Manager Todd Selig directed questions about the incident to the Strafford County Attorney's Office.
UNH and the national SAE headquarters on Frida morning did not respond to Seacoast Current's request for comment.
The Kappa Sigma fraternity was suspended in August by UNH for five academic years after being in "bad standing" since May 2021.