Anti-hazing laws in N.J. could get tougher under proposed legislation

David Madden
November 26, 2018 - 4:00 am
A measure awaiting action in the New Jersey legislature would toughen the penalty for hazing, particularly if the victim is seriously injured.

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SOMERVILLE, NJ (KYW Newsradio) — A measure awaiting action in the New Jersey legislature would toughen the penalty for hazing, particularly if the victim is seriously injured. 

Remember when Timothy Piazza died last year after a night of drinking at a Pennsylvania State University fraternity house? Pennsylvania recently passed an anti-hazing law in light of that incident and New Jersey State Senator Kip Bateman wants to follow suit, since the Piazza family lives in his Somerset County district.

“We want to send a message to fraternities that this is unacceptable and we don’t want to live through another tragedy,” Bateman told KYW Newsradio.

RELATED: Most serious charges dismissed in Penn State frat death

Right now, hazing is considered disorderly conduct and gets you a fine in the Garden State. Under Bateman’s proposal, a violator could be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison for a general offense, or three to five years if someone gets hurt. 

“Timmy was an outstanding student, a great athlete, and it was so unnecessary,” Bateman added. “If somebody had just done something or had been responsible, he’d be alive today.”

He hopes to get the measure approved and signed into law in short order, with input from the Piazza family.