updated 10/7/2008 4:32:06 PM ET 2008-10-07T20:32:06

Prosecutors are not pursuing criminal charges against seven Tulane University fraternity members accused of burning pledges with boiling water during an initiation.

Tuesday's announcement by the Orleans Parish district attorney's office leaves three other members of Tulane's Pi Kappa Alpha chapter still facing felony battery charges, but a defense attorney expected those cases to be resolved the same way Wednesday.

Nayita Wilson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said she can't comment on why prosecutors refused to charge the seven fraternity members because the cases against three others are scheduled to be heard in court Wednesday. Wilson also declined to comment on those pending cases.

Erin Hangartner, an attorney for fraternity member Oded Nissim, 20, of New York, said the district attorney's office told her that they aren't proceeding with any of the cases because one of the alleged victims "didn't want to move forward."

"My client is incredibly relieved," Hangartner said, adding, "This was just a tragic accident."

Two students treated for severe burns
In May, 10 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter were booked on charges of aggravated second-degree battery. Police said two students were treated for severe burns after they were scalded with water from hot crab boil.

The fraternity members whose cases were resolved Tuesday are: Joseph Lorono, 21; Graham Carron, 21; Jeremy Bendat, 22; Kevin Dunn, 21; Nicholas Maddern, 22; Danny Lazzeri Jr., 20; William S. Dougherty Jr., 21. Hearings are scheduled Wednesday for Nissim; Preston Gelman, 21; and Joseph Stephens, 23.

Both Tulane and the fraternity's national organization suspended the chapter after the incident.

A lawyer for Matthew Martin, one of the alleged victims in the case, declined to comment on prosecutors' refusal to proceed with criminal charges. Martin is suing the fraternity and several of its members in federal court.

In court papers, lawyers for Martin say their client and other pledges were participating in a "Hell Night" initiation and only were wearing shorts and shoes when they were scalded with boiling water and pelted with raw eggs.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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