The crime of hazing in Iowa is defined by Iowa Code section 708.10, which reads as follows:
1. a. A person commits an act of hazing when the person intentionally or recklessly engages in any act or acts involving forced activity which endanger the physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any organization operating in connection with a school, college, or university. Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, forced confinement, or any other forced activity which endangers the physical health or safety of the student.
b. For purposes of this section, forced activity means any activity which is a condition of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, an organization, regardless of a student s willingness to participate in the activity.
2. A person who commits an act of hazing is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
3. A person who commits an act of hazing which causes serious bodily injury to another is guilty of a serious misdemeanor.
Hazing charges in Iowa where there is no serious bodily injury in a simple misdemeanor, which can result in up to 30 days in the county jail upon conviction. In situations where there is serious bodily injury, then Iowa law makes that hazing charge a serious misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the county jail.
In addition to the criminal penalties, a person accused of hazing may also face disciplinary action from their school or university, as well as a civil lawsuit. For those reasons, anyone charged with hazing is well advised to seek an attorney at once.