A Central Michigan University student accused of spreading peanut butter on the face of a passed out teen with a peanut allergy faces jail time over the stunt. Dale Merza, 20, has been charged with misdemeanor hazing and faces up to 93 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted, reports the Detroit Free Press. But Merza—who has pleaded not guilty, per WDIV—says the incident targeting 19-year-old Andrew Seely "is simply not hazing." His lawyer, Bruce Leach, contends that the case "has been blown way out of proportion by the individual's family members, who were not present and don't have any of the facts."
The incident happened in October, but Seely's mother only learned of it in March and posted on Facebook about it, saying her son "could have been killed." A professor took Seely to a campus health clinic, where he recovered. His parents say members of the university's unofficial Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, where the incident took place, were well aware of the seriousness of Seely's allergy. But frat members disagree and say the action was meant as a harmless prank. They add that Seely's decision to change schools at the end of the fall semester was unrelated, per the Washington Post. According to Leach, Merza and Seely spoke after the incident and "everything seemed to be fine." (At Penn State, a frat pledge sent a final text to his girlfriend on the night he died.)