CRIME

U-Md. hazing scandal: Charges dropped against Zeta Phi Beta sorority sister

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All charges have been dropped against a University of Maryland sorority sister accused in a hazing scandal.

Defendant Tymesha Pendleton, right, and her attorney, James Papirmeister, outside the courthouse. (Photo: Brianne Carter)

Tymesha Pendleton, a member of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority, was cleared of all charges Monday morning due to lack of evidence.

Earlier this spring, a young woman told police that during sorority initiation she was badly beaten and subjected to brutal hazing. She named seven sorority sisters, including Pendleton, as her attackers and each was charged with assault and hazing.

According to James Papirmeister, Pendleton's attorney, an investigation by prosecutors found that the alleged victim in this case essentially consented to sorority initiation activities by going to an off-campus home on at least 3 separate dates. Papirmeister says that there was no evidence of injuries, a beating or hazing to the female student. Additionally, it was determined that Pendleton herself did not actually attend any of the initiation sessions.

Ramone Korionoff, spokesperson for Prince George's County State's Attorney, confirms that charges against all seven of the sorority members charged with second degree assault and hazing are also being dropped.

Hazing scandal at University of Maryland

An alleged hazing incident involving the Zeta Phi Beta sorority at the University of Maryland has rocked the campus.

A 22-year-old pledge has alleged that Zeta Phi Beta sorority sisters took her off campus and punched, choked and beat her with a wooden paddle.

She was told it was part of a hazing ritual. But she didn’t accept it.

The pledge reported the alleged incident to authorities and now seven sorority sisters are facing charges of felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor hazing.

According to court records, the seven charged are: Amber Bijou, 22; Bridget Blount, 24; Montressa Hammond, 24; Kandyce Jackson, 23; Tymesha Pendleton, 26; Zakiya Shivers, 26; and Monika Young, 23.

Four of the seven sorority sisters appeared in court Thursday. Several of the women charged were given an April 1 court date.

Two of the defendants -- Bridget Blount, 24, and Zakiya Shivers, 26 -- failed to appear in court Thursday morning and warrants were issued for their arrests.

It was unclear if their absence was intentional or accidental.

At least one defendant who was not scheduled to be arraigned Thursday appeared in court and was arraigned.

The lawyer for Pendleton said his client, who will soon earn a masters degree and begin pursuing a Ph. D, is innocent.

“The idea of hazing is abhorrent to her, something she does not subscribe to in any way,” said attorney James Papirmeister. “What happened to the alleged victim we're not sure I know she did not do it.”

Even though the sorority doesn’t have a traditional sorority house, they are a national organization. It’s been at Maryland for 30 years.

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