Seven members of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority at the University of Maryland have been charged with hazing and assault.
A woman who was trying to join the sorority said she was pummeled around the arms and chest during an apparent pledging ritual.
According to court documents, the woman said she was pummeled in the arm and chest and struck on the backside with a paddle at a home in Bladensburg, Md., NBC Washington's Pat Collins reported.
Another incident took place at 9305 20th Ave. in Adelphi, according to a complaint filed with police. A woman said in October 2010, she was told to go to the above address as part of the pledging process. When she walked in, she was thrown up against a wall and assaulted.
After the woman told the university and then the police about the attack, the sorority was suspended.
The victim said that before pledging she had been told that hazing was not part of the process, Collins reported.
Seven women were charged -- Bridget Blount and Zayika Shivers, both alumnae; as well as Montressa Hammond, Kandyce Jackson, Tymesha Pendleton, Monika Young and Amber Bijou, who are all current students. Six of the seven appeared in court Thursday.
The sorority's national leadership released a statement on the incident:
"Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., has a membership intake policy, which forbids all forms of hazing. Each prospective member is advised in writing that membership in Zeta does not require subjecting oneself to hazing. Prospective members are directed to refuse to participate in any hazing activity, and are directed to report all hazing and hazing attempts to the proper authorities."