Four Florida A&M University students beat, paddled and punched five clarinet players in a brutal hazing attack, police say.
Denise Bailey, 22, Brandon Benson, 23, Hakeem Birch, 21, and Anthony Mingo, 22, have been charged with hazing offences. They have also been expelled from the university.
The arrests come two months after the death of drum major Robert Champion, who collapsed on a school bus after a football game, in what police say was hazing ritual.
Accused: Hakeem Birch, left, and Denise Lashawn Bailey, right, have ben charged with hazing offences and expelled from school
Charged: Branson Benson, left, and Anthony Mingo, right, are accused of hazing five clarinet players
An autopsy ruled Mr Champion's death a homicide although no charges have yet been brought.. It concluded that he suffered blunt trauma blows to his body and died from shock caused by severe bleeding.
The latest dismisals were announced Monday during a FAMU board of trustees meeting.
The students will have a chance to appeal their dismissal before a student judicial committee.
'The hazing created a substantial risk of physical injury or death,' according to the arrest report.
The five alleged victims were identified as Elijah Brown, Riva Nance, La'Nesia Smith, Sychiquita Stokes and Shantivia Conley, ABC News reported
The hazing rituals, which began in September 2011, allowed the students to try to gain admittance to the Clones, a group within the clarinet section of the school's prestigious marching band, the 'Marching 100.'
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'During the scheduled initiation meetings, the pledges were forced to exercise, play music, and were either punched, prepped (slapped with both hands on back) or paddled,' the arrest warrant stated.
The victims compared injuries after the first meeting and one of the alleged victims Conley photographed her bruising and left the pledge process.
The were meetings organised by, and took place at the home of two students, Birch and Benson.
The hazing scandal has tarnished the reputation of the school and its marching band.
Dead: Robert Champion could have been targeted in hazing because he was gay, witnesses have claimed
Devastated: Champion's parents Pam Champion and her husband Robert Champion Sr. said they will sue the company that owns the bus where the hazing took place
Since 26-year-old Champion's death the school has attempted to crack down on the practice, a longstanding band tradition.
Four students expelled by the university in connection with the death were reinstated as investigations continue.
Witnesses said Champion may have been targeted because of the fact he was gay.
But Robert Champion's parents reject this explanation for their son's death, saying it is more likely that he was abused because of his opposition to hazing.
The grieving parents have said they will sue the company that owns the bus where the hazing took place as part of a ritual involving the marching band of Florida A&M University.
The Champions say the bus company's negligence contributed to his death, as band members were allowed to get back on the bus to conduct hazing rituals after they had returned to an Orlando hotel following a football game against the school's arch-rival.
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'The main reason that we heard is because he was against hazing, and he was totally against it,' said Robert Champion Sr, the victim's father.
But the Champions and their attorney said they are uncertain how or why Champion was on the bus, since it was well known that hazing rituals were organised on the bus by a group of band members known as 'Bus C' after the Florida Classic football game against rival Bethune-Cookman University.
Band members, mainly percussionists, would return from the game, drop their gear off in their hotel rooms and return to the bus to haze others who wanted to be indoctrinated into the organisation, their lawyer said.
Robert Champion Sr and his wife Pam discount homophobia as a major motive in their son's hazing, since other band members had known about his sexual orientation for years and had never bothered him about it.
'His sexual orientation was not something he was defined by,' Chestnut said. 'He was more defined by music. This was not something that he, quote unquote, "advertised". It was a part of who he was.'
The Champions are unable to file a lawsuit against the university for another few months because of state law about suing public entities.
The owner of Fabulous Coach Lines, which operated the bus where the hazing took place, said his staff did everything to get help once they were notified there was a problem.
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