The Municipal Court of Philadelphia County has set a criminal trial date for College senior Nicholas Hamilton, who has been charged in an alleged assault that occurred on campus last September.
Hamilton allegedly injured a Penn sophomore at a party held on Sept. 4, 2021, in the chapter house of his fraternity, Psi Upsilon — also known as “Castle."
According to court documents viewed by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Hamilton has been charged with both simple assault and harassment, subject other to physical contact. His court trial is set for Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. after a private criminal complaint was filed on Oct. 3, 2022.
Both Hamilton and his lawyer did not respond to requests for comment. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office also did not respond to request for comment.
A witness from the event, who requested anonymity due to their close relationship with the victim, previously told the DP in September 2021, that other Castle brothers were witnesses to the assault but did not intervene. After the victim appeared to be partially unconscious, the witness had told the DP that two other Castle brothers carried the victim out of the house. Later that night, the victim was transported via ambulance to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
The victim’s brother, a Penn student who was also present at the party but who did not witness the assault, previously told the DP that he suspected that race played a factor in the incident. The victim’s brother had said he previously had a disagreement with Hamilton after Hamilton allegedly made racist comments about South Africa, which is Hamilton’s home country, during a Castle rush event at an off-campus apartment in January 2021.
In response to news of the alleged assault, Penn students had hung 300 flyers around campus calling to “END FRAT CULTURE.” A petition, created by students in September 2021, has garnered over 5,800 signatures to remove the Castle fraternity from their house and reuse the building as a central campus space.
Over 50 students also held a four-day protest outside of the Castle chapter house in September 2021. The protestors previously told the DP they wanted Hamilton expelled from the University, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life remove Castle from its chapter house, and Penn to release a statement condemning the incident and reassuring the student body that it would not tolerate any kind of hate crimes on campus.
The University, however, has not released a statement on the matter. University spokesperson Ron Ozio did not respond to an immediate request for comment.