14 charged in Wilmington College hazing incident at the Gamma Phi Gamma house

WILMINGTON, Ohio -- Fourteen men were arrested Thursday after an investigation into a hazing incident that left a man with permanent injuries to his genitals.

The incident happened at the Gamma Phi Gamma fraternity house (also known as the Gobbler house) near Wilmington College on Oct. 31, 2013.

Officers were called to Clinton Memorial Hospital after a pledge from the fraternity was taken there with serious injuries.

On the night of the incident, three pledges were inducted into the fraternity in the 600 block of Fife Avenue while 20 members watched and participated, police said.

According to Clinton County court documents, the three pledges were blindfolded in the home’s basement and told to get on the floor and make swimming motions in three inches of water.

Next, officials said the three men stood naked and had Icy Hot lotion applied to their bodies while other members used knot-tied towels to hit them.

One pledge, identified as Tyler Lawrence, was hit in the groin so hard, officials said he had to have his testicle removed during emergency surgery at Clinton Memorial Hospital.

President of Wilmington College Jim Reynolds said the hazing conduct outlined in the police investigation is unacceptable.

"It's hard to understand why, at a college like this, that we could have an incident like that when we don't or would never condone that type of activity," Reynolds said.

Wilmington College requires all fraternities complete anti-hazing education before rush season begins.

"They sign a release saying they have had that education and have been educated on anti-hazing, and then pledges also sign an additional card saying they're going to go through the pledging process," Reynolds said.

After careful consideration, Reynolds said he imposed a minimum five-year ban on the fraternity.

Gamma Phi Gamma is an independent fraternity founded in 1907.

The following individuals, who range in age from 20 to 36, were charged in the incident:

  • Tyler Baker age 22 of Primrose Ln. Middletown, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Joey Brown age 21 of W. Haskett Lane Dayton, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Andrew Fields age 21 of Yale Ave. Terrace Park, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • John Finkbone age 36 of Shawhan Ayers Rd Clarksville, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Maximilian Huprich age 21 of Kingfisher Ct. Amelia Ohio was charged with Assault a misdemeanor of the first degree and one count of hazing
  • Austin Kleinhans age 22 of Foraker Ave. Sidney, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Austin Miller age 22 of Trudeau Dr. Forrest Hills, Maryland was charged with one count of hazing
  • Jared Miller age 21 of Dove St. Marysville, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Cody Sabins age 21 of May St. Magnetic Springs Ohio was changed with one count of hazing
  • Thomas Schweitzer age 22 of Hannah Court Wilmington, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Sage Streber age 22 of Leslie Dr. Wilmington, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Zachery Swensen age 20 of Springridge Ct. Milford Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Casey Thompson age 22 of Shawna Court Liberty Township, Ohio was charged with one count of hazing
  • Cole Voltz age 20 of St Rt. 207, Mt. Sterling Ohio was charged with one count of hazing

The men will be arraigned in Clinton County Municipal Court on June 13 at 9 a.m. All hazing charges are a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

WCPO reporters Tom McKee and Jay Warren contributed to this report.

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