DA: Second Theta Tau video 'extremely offensive', but not criminal

Syracuse University permanently expelled Theta Tau fraternity from campus over videos described as “disturbing.” (CNYCentral file photo)

No criminal charges will come from a second Theta Tau video that Syracuse University's chancellor called "appalling and disgusting."

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said Monday that while the contents of the most recent video are "extremely offensive, like the first video released by the media, it does not make out the elements of a criminal offense."

The second video was published Saturday night by The Daily Orange, an independent student newspaper, just days after an initial video went public with contents that university Chancellor Kent Syverud described as "disturbing."

"The words and behaviors in the second video are appalling and disgusting on many intersecting grounds. They especially offend all Syracuse University holds dear about diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities," Syverud said.

"I believe the second video depicts egregious behavior, including sexual assault, violence and discriminatory mockery and hostility toward people with disabilities that is unacceptable and deeply harmful in many ways," he added. "I ask all of us who care about our community and its values to reaffirm them by emphatically rejecting all this video represents. There is absolutely no place at Syracuse University for tolerance of this behavior."

Syverud announced the expulsion of the Syracuse chapter of Theta Tau in a video sent to students, faculty, and staff Saturday. Syverud said the university suspended the fraternity within two hours of receiving and authenticating the first video.

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Students involved may be "suspended or expelled" following a student judiciary process, according to the video statement.

Syverud described the original video as "racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, ableist and sexist."

A statement from the fraternity on Friday said the video was a "roast" of active brothers put on by new members.

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