A 19-year-old fraternity pledge in Ohio has lost a testicle after a hazing ritual failed to go exactly as planned.
The tragic incident occurred at the Gamma Phi Gamma house just off the campus of Wilmington College—a private, Quaker-affiliated liberal arts college with a career bent in Wilmington, Ohio.
Gamma Phi Gamma is a fraternity that is local to the school.
The sequence of events which eventually caused a surgeon to remove a testicle from Gamma Phi Gamma pledge Tyler Lawrence began on the evening of Oct. 30 and continued into the early morning of Oct. 31, reports Cincinnati CBS affiliate WKRC.
Two other pledges were also involved. About 20 frat members either watched or participated in the rite of passage.
According to a police affidavit obtained by WKRC, Gamma Phi Gamma members led the three pledges to the basement of the frat house. The pledges were blindfolded.
First, the pledges had to pretend to swim in approximately three inches of water on the basement floor.
Then, they were instructed to stand up and remove all of their clothes except for the blindfolds. As the pledges stood nude, a frat member read something from a script. Other frat members placed some kind of Icy Hot-like substance on the nipples, backs, scrotums and buttocks of the pledges.
Things went horribly wrong for Lawrence, the affidavit says, when frat members began flicking the pledges with towels fashioned with knots at the ends for maximum pain infliction.
One of the frat members flicked Lawrence in the testicles. He fell to the ground in agony but the hazing ritual nevertheless continued.
Frat members later took Lawrence to a nearby hospital because he complained about persistent pain after the ceremony was over.
Lawrence has defended Gamma Phi Gamma. He told WKRC that he believes the injury was an accident.
Police and the local prosecuting attorney have indicated that they may choose to press criminal charges over the incident.
Wilmington College president Jim Reynolds told the CBS station that the students involved in the hazing face the possibility of suspension or expulsion from the school.