22 Illinois Frat Members Charged in Pledge's Death

David Bogenberger died after booze-filled pledge event
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2012 10:21 AM CST
22 Illinois Frat Members Charged in Pledge's Death
A Pi Kappa Alpha house (not the one at NIU).   (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Saul Young)

Northern Illinois University freshman David Bogenberger, 19, was found dead Nov. 2 at a frat house, his blood-alcohol level more than four times the .08 limit for driving—and now 22 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity have been charged with criminal hazing. Authorities say Bogenberger had been given vodka and other liquor while taking part in a pledge event the night prior to his death, and that he and the other pledges ultimately drank "a large quantity of alcohol" over a period of just two hours. Other pledges also passed out or became sick, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Five former leaders of the now-suspended fraternity face felony charges for providing alcohol to underage students and pressuring them to drink; they face as many as three years in prison. The other 17 students were charged with misdemeanors and face a maximum of one year in jail. In addition, 31 members of the fraternity face punishment from the school, including possible expulsion. "We are losing these talented, beautiful, and hopeful young people because of illegal drinking unrestrained by maturity and exacerbated by social pressure," said Bogenberger’s family in a statement. (Read more hazing stories.)

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