7 Members of Suspended Fraternity Arrested for Cyberstalking Student Who Reported Hazing

Seven members of the recently suspended Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Mississippi were arrested for cyberstalking a former member who accused the organization of hazing.

The seven members were accused of using social media to harass the former member. According to Lafayette County Justice Court records, they were arrested Friday after turning themselves in. Once a judge set a bond of $5,000 each, they were released.

The seven students have yet to be indicted. In early February, a Lafayette County grand jury will probably hear the cases and decide if any crimes were committed. An arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 28.

An Oxford-based lawyer representing four of the students, Jay Carmean, refused to comment on the case to The Associated Press. No attorneys were identified for the other three students, according to court records.

"As evidenced by the suspension of all operations of the Gamma Iota chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha of the University of Mississippi effective until May 1, 2025, hazing and related behavior, including cyberstalking, that put student health and safety at risk are contrary to the University of Mississippi Creed and will not be tolerated," said Lisa Stone, University of Mississippi spokesperson, in a statement.

Stone told AP the university is aware of the charges and is cooperating with the authorities. University officials are inquiring about the allegations internally, but are not allowed to comment on an active criminal investigation, she said.

The 20-year-old student who reported the hazing also filed a lawsuit in October against The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, Gamma Iota Chapter of Ole Miss, officers of the chapter, and others for the hazing incident. He asked for a jury trial and $10 million in damages.

Pi Kappa Alpha, Cyberstalking, Hazing, Arrested
The seven members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Mississipi have yet to be indicted. In early February, a Lafayette County grand jury will probably hear the cases and decide if any crimes were committed. In this photo is the fraternity house for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, aka Pike, at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California, with posted advertising rush events, August 21, 2018. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

During an Oct. 11, 2020, hazing ritual, pledges were blindfolded with their neckties and made to sit in a hallway, according to a university campus police report. Active members then "yelled, screamed, threw liquids and things" on the pledges, and made them squat against the wall while reciting phrases.

One fraternity member "grabbed a bottle of bleach or surface cleaner and started spraying it on a few pledges," according to police. "During this time, one of the pledges threw up from inhaling some of the substances in his mouth, and another one had to go to the hospital because the bleach got into his eyes."

University of Mississippi officials said then they suspended a student in the case. On Nov. 17, 2020, university police charged a fraternity member with aggravated assault.

After the incident, the 158-member chapter was sanctioned, meaning members had to sign an anti-hazing agreement and receive anti-hazing education.

The fraternity was then suspended from campus until 2025 last month after another hazing incident was reported, breaking the agreement.

The student who reported the 2021 hazing incident was one of the students who was hazed during the first incident last October. His mother, Robyn Yerger, told the Clarion Ledger he reported the 2021 incident after seeing photos of the hazing on social media.

Yerger said her son has since left the university and enrolled virtually at a community college, but he is still recovering from the physical and emotional toll of what he experienced. As a result of ingesting bleach, he was diagnosed with Grade 4 severe erosive esophagitis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.