November 22, 2014

Elyria
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University of Akron fraternity brothers sentenced for hazing Grafton man

AKRON — Five University of Akron fraternity brothers were sentenced this week for a January hazing incident, which left a Grafton man hospitalized.

According to the Akron Municipal Court record, four of the men received varying levels of probation and community service after pleading guilty to hazing and assault charges.

Rinaldo Allen Jr., 21, of Akron, Steven Pitts, 23, of Norton, and Clive Ennin, 24, of Akron, each received one year of probation for the assault charge and 60 days of house arrest. The men also received five days of community service for the hazing charge in addition to fines and courts costs ranging from $150 to $177.

J’Lani Pryce, 22, of Akron, received five days of community service on the assault charge, paid a $371 fine and received a 30-day suspended sentence on the hazing charge. Traveon Leak, 22, of Stow, had his assault charge dismissed, pleaded guilty to a hazing charge and paid a $130 fine. Leak previously said that he never paddled any of the fraternity pledges, something Ware confirmed.

A sixth man, Chauncey Gilliam, 24, of Bedford Heights, was set to be sentenced Thursday but the court did not have information about whether he was sentenced or the court date had been moved.

According to prior Chronicle-Telegram reports, the Akron Police Department received an anonymous tip that 21-year-old Avery Ware of Grafton had been hazed so badly he had to be hospitalized.

Ware told police officers he was paddled on multiple occasions over a period of three weeks on off-campus locations, including a location in Cleveland. He also told officers he did not know the exact dates of when the beatings had occurred and that he noticed bleeding from his buttocks sometime after one of the incidents.

Ware told police his mother asked him to come home and he told her he was hurt. Upon his arrival home, his mother said she could “smell the infection” and took him to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center on Jan. 26 for treatment.

At the time of his hospital visit, Ware apparently told hospital staff he was injured in a sledding accident. He later said he lied because he still wanted to be a part of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity because several of his family members had been in Greek organizations.

The University of Akron released a statement saying they stood behind any hazing victims and that hazing of any kind is not tolerated.

According to an Akron Municipal Court official, all of those sentenced also will have to pay restitution to the victim, but the amount has yet to be determined.