The Washington House passed House Bill 1002, which would increase penalties associated with hazing.
The bill comes after the passage of “Sam’s Law,” named after our client Sam Martinez, who died of alcohol poisoning as a result of an alleged hazing incident at the Washington State University chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity in 2019.
The bill would reclassify the crime of hazing from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor, and cases involving substantial bodily harm would become a Class C felony.
The bill also adds felony hazing to the statutory lists of crimes against persons and crimes of harassment.
“Sam’s Law” went into effect in 2021, which requires all university organizations to publicize past hazing incidents and requires hazing education and training for students and employees.