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Penn State Hazing Scandal Results In Criminal Charges

Posted Scott B. Cooper on Aug 08, 2012 in News

Posted on Aug 08, 2012

Annie McCormick of WHP-TV 21 in Harrisburg reported last night about the criminal charges filed as a result of the Penn State hazing incident back in the Spring.  Below is her story as it appeared on TV-21.

A victim of alleged hazing at Penn State University came to CBS 21 in April because no one believed her. Now, the Centre County District Attorney's Office filed charges against three people she says severely beat her. One of the people charged is a Harrisburg and Penn State track star. The victim, Asya Trowell has moved on and is now sharing her story nationally. She learned the news of the charges while on a photo shoot for Seventeen Magazine where they are profiling her case as a lesson to young girls.

Her attorney, Scott Cooper, of Schmidt Kramer got the news Tuesday. The three people he says beat his client during a hazing ritual are now officially charged.

“Now that they are filing criminal charges she almost feels validated on her story and can almost totally move on,” stated Cooper.

His client, Asya Trowell, came to CBS 21 News in April frustrated and scared that no one would take her story seriously. It was just weeks before she landed in the emergency room after pledging a "little sister" group of Omega Psi Phi, a fraternity that is not recognized by Penn State. The abuse she described was severe.

“We were hit in the face, I was beat until I was bleeding I got to a point where my physical body was there but my mind was somewhere else,” Trowell explained in April. “It was a complete nightmare, it was torture.”

Emergency room doctors contemplated surgery on her liver and spleen. The Centre County District Attorney’s office charged Bianca Jeanty, Felicia Ragsdale and Hanif Johnson with simple assault, conspiracy and two counts of harassment. Johnson is a former Harrisburg track and field stand out who went onto Penn State, excelling in the jumps to earn All-American status in the triple jump.

After our initial story ran Penn State University did say they were investigating several people. All three charged Tuesday were barred from walking during graduation.

“We’ve thought all along that if it wasn't for your story initially this could have all been swept under the rug,” Cooper told us. “That was what the hope was to get something out there to see that something was happening at PSU.”

Copyright 2012 Newport Television LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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