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Two students take a deal with state for UCA hazing scandal

Posted: July 16, 2014 - 10:33am

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) – Two of the four men charged in the University of Central Arkansas hazing scandal came to an agreement with the state Monday resulting in avoiding criminal charges.

In March UCA put the Iota Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated on cease and desist, halting all chapter activities pending investigation.

Rico Spears, Christopher Ozuna, Kevin Nguyen, and Blake Battles are the four students who pleaded not guilty in trial Monday. 

Spears and Nguyen struck an agreement with the state of Arkansas which includes but is not limited to paying restitution to the initial victim, not breaking any laws, and having no contact with the victim or the three other students who came forward.

Both Spears and Nguyen are banned from the UCA campus and school activities until told otherwise by the university.

Universities across the state have been proactively tightening up their hazing policy. University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Assistant Dean of Students Darryl McGee said although students can anonymously report, many are reluctant to go through with it.

"Students do not want to be the ones that are being ostracized,” said McGee. “That student does not want to be the one to bring down that particular organization that is possibly doing a lot of things socially for that campus.”

McGee and UCA Dean of Students Gary Roberts agree that having greek life on campus is important.

"National organizations along with universities really value the greek life experience,” McGee said. “We really want students to enjoy that experience without the baggage and without being harmed or hurt."

Ozuna and Battles are set for a pretrial on hazing charges on August 14 at 9 a.m. 

If Spears and Nguyen follow the conditions of their agreements, criminal charges with be dropped on December 29, but they will go back to court on that day for a review hearing.

Channel 7 News reached out to the International Headquarters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and they had no comment on the incident.

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