Title 14. Criminal Law

Chapter 1. Criminal Code

Part II. Offenses Against the Person

Subpart B. Assault and Battery (with Related Offenses)

 

 

14:40.8     Criminal hazing

 

A. (1) Except as provided by Subsection D of this Section, it shall be unlawful for any person to commit an act of hazing. 

 

(2)(a) Except as provided by Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, any person who commits an act of hazing shall be either fined up to one thousand dollars, imprisoned for up to six months, or both. 

 

(b) If the hazing results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim, or the hazing involves forced or coerced alcohol consumption that results in the victim having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .30 percent by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, any person who commits an act of hazing shall be fined up to ten thousand dollars and imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for up to five years. 

 

B. (1) If any person serving as a representative or officer of an organization, including any representative, director, trustee, or officer of any national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities provided for in Paragraph (C)(3) of this Section is a sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing, knew and failed to report to law enforcement that one or more of the organization’s members were hazing another person, the organization may be subject to the following: 

 

(a) Payment of a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. 

 

(b) Forfeiture of any public funds received by the organization. 

 

(c) Forfeiture of all rights and privileges of being an organization that is organized and operating at the education institution for a specific period of time as determined by the court. If the hazing results in the serious bodily injury or death of the victim, or results in the victim having a blood alcohol concentration of at least .30 percent by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, the period of time shall be for not less than four years. 

 

(2) A national or parent organization that receives a report alleging the commission of an act or acts of hazing may conduct a timely and efficient investigation to substantiate or determine the veracity of the allegations prior to making a report to law enforcement. The investigation shall be completed no later than fourteen days after the date on which the report was received alleging the commission of an act or acts of hazing. 

 

C. For purposes of this Section: 

 

(1) “Education institution” means any elementary or secondary school or any postsecondary education institution in this state. 

 

(2)(a) “Hazing” is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act by a person acting alone or acting with others that is directed against another when both of the following apply: 

 

(i) The person knew or should have known that the act endangers the physical health or safety of the other person or causes severe emotional distress. 

 

(ii) The act was associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization. 

 

(b) “Hazing” includes but is not limited to any of the following acts associated with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization: 

 

(i) Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, paddling, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity. 

 

(ii) Physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, or calisthenics, that subjects the other person to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress. 

 

(iii) Activity involving consumption of food, liquid, or any other substance, including but not limited to an alcoholic beverage or drug, that subjects the individual to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual or causes severe emotional distress. 

 

(iv) Activity that induces, causes, or requires an individual to perform a duty or task that involves the commission of a crime or an act of hazing. 

 

(c) A physical activity that is normal, customary, and necessary for a person’s training and participation in an athletic, physical education, military training, or similar program sanctioned by the education institution is not considered “hazing” for purposes of this Section.

 

(3) “Organization” means a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, service group, social group, band, spirit group, athletic team, or similar group whose members are primarily students at, or former students of, an education institution.“Organization” includes the national or parent organization of which any of the underlying entities provided for in this Paragraph is a sanctioned or recognized member at the time of the hazing. 

 

(4) “Pledging”, also known as “recruitment” or “rushing”, means any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization. 

 

D. (1) This Section does not apply to an individual who is the subject of the hazing, regardless of whether the individual voluntarily allowed himself to be hazed. 

 

(2) It is not a defense to prosecution for a violation of this Section that the individual against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing. 

 

E. (1) The penalties provided in Subsection B of this Section may be imposed in addition to any penalty that may be imposed for any other criminal offense arising from the same incident or activity, and in addition to any penalty imposed by the organization or education institution pursuant to its by-laws, rules, or policies regarding hazing. 

 

(2) Nothing in this Section precludes any civil remedy provided by law. 

 

Added by Acts 2018, No. 635, § 1.