By Russell Abrams
While it is true that during a drunken fraternity incident, me and two other fraternity brothers played a prank by setting a protest shanty on fire during our college years, much has been said on public sites such as Wikipedia – and much has been excluded in the media.
The purpose of this article is to set the record straight.
First, nobody was severely hurt. I was ordered to pay $100 for the medical bills of the student who was inside the shanty. He had visited the emergency room for minor burns. He made no subsequent doctor’s visits.
Second, the final disposition of all the charges were charges dismissed. My friends and I received what is called probation before judgement. What this means is that you are found not guilty, the charges remain open while you complete your probation, and then – in my case – the final judgment was dismissal of all charges.
For probation, I performed community service.
Finally, my arrest charges and the court case were expunged from my record.
Under Maryland law, it is illegal to publicize the arrest of someone if the charges were dismissed and the record was expunged, as was the case with us. This blog post is to officially verify that the charges were expunged from my record.
At the time, we apologized profusely for what we did. We were sorry then and continue to regret the unfortunate incident when we were young and in college.