Hazing

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Wolf administration is calling on state lawmakers to pass a number of bills that have gone stagnant in the legislature. They're all related to giving more protections to victims of abuse.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Members of a Penn State University fraternity charged in connection with the death of a pledge after a night of hazing and drinking are scheduled to go to trial early next year.

Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine set aside 20 days for the trial involving 21 members of the now-closed Beta Theta Pi fraternity, starting Feb. 6.

Defendants are accused of hazing, reckless endangerment and other offenses after the death last year of 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

AG Drops Manslaughter, Assault In Penn State Frat Death Case

May 1, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania prosecutors are dropping involuntary manslaughter and assault charges against five Penn State fraternity brothers related to the death of a pledge ahead of a hearing to determine whether there's enough evidence to head toward trial on the remaining allegations.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the decision Tuesday, one day before the preliminary hearing for 12 members of Beta Theta Pi over the February 2017 death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Senate OKs Anti-Hazing Bill Drafted After Penn State Death

Apr 18, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Criminal penalties for hazing would become more severe under a bill — approved Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Senate — that was inspired by the death last year of a Penn State pledge after a night of heavy drinking.

Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET

A Pennsylvania judge has dismissed the most serious charges filed against 11 members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity in the hazing-related death of Timothy Piazza.

Judge Allen Sinclair dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges filed against the fraternity brothers.

But he allowed new charges of "conspiracy to commit hazing" to proceed against some of the fraternity brothers.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement that he was "disappointed by the decision" and is "assessing our legal options."

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Security video shot in the basement of a Penn State fraternity house the night a pledge was fatally injured during an evening of hazing and drinking shows fraternity members plying pledges with alcohol.

Pennlive.com reported testimony Monday in the preliminary hearing for 11 former members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity focused on deleted video the FBI recovered.

Centre County District Attorney-elect Bernie Cantorna announced Tuesday that he will recuse himself from the Penn State hazing death case and has asked Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to take over.

In a statement, Cantorna cited conflicts of interest.

“Because I previously served as counsel to some of those involved in these cases, I sought the advice of the State Bar Ethics Committee about how to handle these matters going forward,” Cantorna said of his decision. “I have done that so these cases can move forward in an efficient, timely and above board manner.”

Min Xian / WPSU

A judge has dropped all involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges for the 18 Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. Some defendants are going to trial for lesser charges. 

Lawyer: Penn State Fraternity Leaders Were Unaware Pledge Who Died Was In Danger

Aug 30, 2017
Bebeto Matthews / AP

The lawyer for a Penn State fraternity president accused in the death of a pledge after a night of drinking and hazing argued Wednesday that his client didn't see anything to make him think the pledge was at risk of dying.

Defense attorney Frank Fina said during a preliminary hearing that there was no evidence that former Beta Theta Pi president Brendan Young acted maliciously the night 19-year-old Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, was fatally injured.

Detective Describes Probe Into Penn State Pledge's Death

Jul 11, 2017
Daveynin / Flickr

A police detective was questioned for a third day Tuesday about the events at a Penn State fraternity house earlier this year that led to the death of a 19-year-old pledge who endured a series of falls during a night of heavy drinking.

Lawyers for members of the now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi house have been pressing State College police Detective Dave Scicchitano about his investigation into the pledge ceremony and subsequent party that preceded the Feb. 4 death of Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Chris Knight / AP

A judge is hearing evidence of worried texts from Penn State fraternity brothers as he considers whether there's enough evidence to send charges related to a pledge's death to county court for trial.

Testimony resumed Monday in a preliminary hearing for the Beta Theta Pi chapter and 16 of its members, accused in the February death of 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza after a night of heavy drinking.

Prosecutors introduced a text from the house pledge master that said "it's over" and that he didn't "want to go to jail" for it.

Penn State Bans Frat Where Student Was Fatally Injured

Mar 30, 2017
Daveynin / Flickr

Penn State University on Thursday permanently banned a fraternity where a pledge was fatally injured last month and announced additional steps to curb underage drinking throughout the university system.

The university revoked its recognition of the school's chapter of Beta Theta Pi after it said an investigation found "a persistent pattern" of excessive and forced drinking, hazing and drug use and sales.

Midstate Republican Floats Bill To Penalize Hazing

Nov 10, 2014

Following a southeastern high school that curtailed its season after allegations of hazing, a midstate lawmaker is seeking to criminalize such rituals.

Pennsylvania is one of 44 states with anti-hazing laws, but the commonwealth’s statute applies only to institutions of higher education. Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) said hazing penalties should apply to schools and clubs, as well.

“They should be penalized,” Marsico said. “I mean, they’re old enough to know. If they’re over 13 years of age, they should know better.”