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Sorority Sisters Accused of Hazing

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. (CN) - A former member claims her sorority sisters conspired against and assaulted her to retaliate for her reporting the Sigma Sigma Sigma house to the national chapter for rules violations, including open beer cans and allowing frat boys to spend the night.

Sarah Frances Lyons sued Sigma Sigma Sigma Inc., the Sigma Sigma Sigma Psi Chapter and six sorority members in a lengthy complaint in Cabell County Court.

Lyons claims that after she pledged to Marshall University's Sigma Sigma Sigma chapter in spring 2010, she became concerned at some members' inappropriate conduct.

She says she discussed the issues, specifically, a fraternity's scavenger hunt for panties at the sorority house, with her chapter advisers, but was met with criticism and abuse.

Lyons says sorority leaders yelled at her in front of other members, accused her of making racist comments, wrote her up for honor code violations and subjected her to public ridicule.

She says the defendants ganged up on her during a mandatory overnight lock-in party, where she was unable to escape a 6-hour berating. She says she was banned from attending formal dances and was denied entrance into a fraternity party, where some of her sorority sisters screamed at her to leave and threw half-empty beer cans at her.

Lyons claims the hazing caused her to suffer emotional distress "that no reasonable man or woman could be expected to endure."

She seeks compensatory and punitive damages for pain and suffering and medical expenses, including therapy.

The 46-count complaint includes allegations of conspiracy, assault, outrage, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Lyons is represented by Jon Hoover of Barboursville.

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