Hazing charges dropped against VSU student graduate - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hazing charges dropped against VSU student graduate

Brandon Randleman Brandon Randleman

A Virginia State University student body president charged with hazing is now off the hook.

Brandon Randleman actually plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge, but then said the Petersburg Commonwealth Attorney pressured him to do it. Thursday, the charges were dropped and the guilty plea was officially withdrawn.

A big factor in that decision in court was an affidavit from the alleged victim where he says "I want to make it abundantly clear, that at no time ever has Brandon Randleman ever hazed me in any way, shape or form."

Randleman was charged after an incident involving the alpha phi alpha fraternity at VSU.

Shortly after that, Randleman said the Commonwealth's Attorney pressured him into making a guilty plea, at the threat of not graduating. 

 "What happened to Brandon, bringing him in here and forcing him to plead guilty was wrong," said his attorney, Joe Morrissey. "Violating his due process rights, bringing him before a judge, making him plead guilty, spending a day in jail when there was not a scintilla of evidence that he did anything wrong."

Petersburg's Commonwealth's Attorney was replaced by a Chesterfield County special prosecutor for court Thursday to hear the motion to dismiss the charges.

"The Commonwealth has decided to what is called nolle prosequi the charges. That means we don't wish to proceed on the charges at this point. Essentially, there are no charges pending anymore against Mr. Randleman," said Shawn Gobble, an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney in Chesterfield "There was an affidavit filed by one of the alleged victims in the case and one of the affidavits filed is not very cooperative to the Commonwealth's side of the case."

The affidavit goes on to say the alleged victim had very few interactions with Randleman and was never hazed by him. it also expresses that he was upset Randleman was charged.

"I'm just happy this is over and I'm glad the charges have been dismissed so I can now move on with my life," said Brandon Randleman.

" It' s inexcusable and indefensible," added Morrissey. "I don't have the capacity to bring charges, but I do have the ability and capacity to bring a civil suit. So, all I'm going to say at this point, is that we are pursuing all available options."

We tried to reach the Petersburg Commonwealth's Attorney for this report, but did not hear back .

Related Story: http://www.nbc12.com/story/22225538/hazing-charges-against-3-at-vsu-dismissed

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