Fourth Ohio University students pleads guilty in hazing case

Associated Press

     ATHENS — A fourth Ohio University student pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the investigation into a fraternity hazing that led to a student’s death.

     Saxon Angell-Perez, 22, of Upper Arlington, pleaded guilty to felony permitting drug abuse, felony cocaine possession and misdemeanor hazing charges, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

     Angell-Perez joins three other members of the former Sigma Pi fraternity who pleaded guilty earlier to charges that grew out of the 2018 death of Collin Wiant. Prosecutors said Angell-Perez gave cocaine to pledges and fraternity members and participated in hazing Wiant and other pledges.

     Friday’s hearing was conducted via Zoom.

     Athens County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Lang sentenced Angell-Perez to non-reporting probation and a drug and alcohol diversion program, meaning he will avoid jail time.

     Angell-Perez addressed the Wiant family in court.

     “To the Wiant family, I would like to extend my sincere apology,” he said. “There are no words. If there is anything I can do ... I am just terribly sorry.”

     Wiant’s parents, Wade and Kathleen, appeared via Zoom from their home in Dublin. Wade Wiant said his youngest son's high school graduation this week made Collin's death more difficult.

     “There’s a sadness that someone is missing from dinner; there’s an empty seat there,” he said. “The pain there remains. The pain endures and does not seem to lessen in intensity.”

     Collin's mother said the family is traumatized about sending another son off to college and hopes the culture of hazing can change.