(Reuters) - Fourteen men have been charged with misdemeanors in a hazing incident that left a fraternity pledge at a small southwestern Ohio college seriously injured, prosecutors said on Friday.
All 14 men were charged with hazing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and one man accused of hitting the pledge in the scrotum with a knotted towel was also charged with misdemeanor assault, prosecutors confirmed.
The incident happened during a Halloween party held at the off-campus house of the Gamma Phi Gamma fraternity at Wilmington College, authorities said.
Thirteen of the men were Wilmington College students when the incident occurred and the other an alumnus, college spokesman Randy Sarvis said. As a result of the hazing, the fraternity is no longer recognized by the school, but can appeal that ruling after five years, he said.
Police were made aware of the hazing incident after the pledge was taken to a hospital for an injury that eventually required surgery to remove one of his testicles.
A Wilmington police search warrant said more than 20 fraternity members watched or participated as pledges were blindfolded told to put a vinegar-soaked banana they were told was feces in their mouths, and had what was described as “Icy Hot” applied to their nipples, buttocks and scrotum.
The misdemeanor charges were filed on May 16 and electronic court documents were updated on Thursday confirming that the men had been served with the charges. Court appearances were scheduled for June 13.
The private college with about 1,200 students is located in Wilmington, Ohio, about 44 miles (70 km) northeast of Cincinnati.
Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland; , editing by G Crosse and David Bailey