New “Jack’s Law” Makes Greek-Life Hazing a Crime in Arizona

New “Jack’s Law” Makes Greek-Life Hazing a Crime in Arizona

After years of being one of only six states without any anti-hazing laws in place, a new law in the state of Arizona that makes hazing a crime took effect on September 24th of this year. Championed by the family of an Arizona State University hazing victim who tragically died after a fraternity pledge in 2012, Jack’s Law finally makes hazing illegal in Arizona and will allow the justice system to hold those responsible accountable for hazing-related injuries and deaths.

Hazing Took Jack Culolias’ Life. It Took Nearly a Decade to Get Justice.

Jack Culolias was a 19-year-old freshman at Arizona State University who was pledging to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. On November 30th of 2012, Jack attended a party at an off-campus apartment, before the party relocated to a local bar and restaurant. Multiple underage pledges and members of the fraternity were described as visibly intoxicated, and of-age fraternity members switched wristbands at the bar, ensuring that the underage pledges could be served even more alcohol. Jack was eventually kicked out of the bar that night, and that was the last time he was ever seen alive. The only clue as to where he had gone was a single red shoe found near the shore of Tempe Town Lake, found by Jack’s own mother who came from California to join the search for her missing son.

For 16 days, Jack’s disappearance made national and international headlines, and an extensive search was conducted. On December 16th of 2012, a body was spotted in Tempe Town Lake, wearing only one red shoe. The body was positively identified as Jack Culolias. Jack is one of many young people who have died as a result of fraternity and sorority hazing across Arizona and the United States.

Nobody at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity or at Arizona State University was held responsible for the young man’s death because there was nothing illegal about hazing at the time. Nobody could be held responsible, even with uproar across the country as the 16-day search for Jack took place. It was seen as a tragic “accident”. This past fall, just months shy of a decade later, things finally changed in the state of Arizona.

Nobody Was Held Responsible for Jack’s Death, but From Now on Perpetrators of Hazing Will Face Legal Consequences

While schools like Arizona State University and national fraternity chapters have cracked down on hazing, the problem persists. There are more and more stories like Jack’s happening each year. Jack’s law will now allow the justice system to hold people accountable for traumas, injuries, and deaths as a result of hazing.

Planning hazing events and engaging in hazing are now misdemeanor crimes, but if injuries occur the perpetrators could face charges of assault and if someone dies as a result of hazing, manslaughter charges could be on the table.

Territorial Law Attorneys is a personal injury and criminal law firm with over 60 years of experience which serves the people of Yuma, San Luiz, Somerton, and beyond. As a client-centric firm, we pride ourselves on putting our clients first and handling every case with diligence, expert knowledge, and the utmost sensitivity. We are prepared to fight for you and meet all your criminal law and personal injury needs. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.