Brutal fraternity hazing led to the suicide of a Pennsylvania State University student, according to a lawsuit filed in Philadelphia by his father.
Marquise Braham, 18, jumped from the roof of an 11-story hotel on Long Island on March 14, 2014, a day before he was to return to Penn State Altoona and rejoin the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Common Pleas Court by his father, Rich, a senior editor at ABC News, alleges that the fraternity's hazing included choosing between snorting a line of cocaine or being sodomized on video; having guns pointed at the pledges' heads; being burned with candle wax; forcing pledges to fight one another; and forcing them to consume alcohol for the purpose of vomiting.
The suit alleges that a resident adviser was kept informed by Marquise Braham of the hazing activities and encouraged him to endure them. Later, when the adviser as well as the director of residence life at the Altoona campus expressed concern for his mental well-being, they or their supervisor notified the university's dean of student activities, but nothing was done, according to the suit.
A representative for the university, which is named as a defendant, could not be reached for comment.
After an investigation by the university, the fraternity was suspended from Penn State Altoona for six years.
Other defendants include the fraternity's national organization, the local chapter, two student officers of the fraternity, the resident adviser, and the director of residence life.
In a statement, the fraternity's international headquarters said the allegations, if true, would be "in direct violation of the fraternity's standards and expectations as well as its express anti-hazing policies."