Judge Bans Frat After Pledge Dies in Hazing

Chun Hsien Deng was killed in 2013
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2018 2:50 PM CST
Fraternity Banned After Hazing Death
In this May 15, 2017, file photo, Charles Lai leaves the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pa. Lai is one of four men who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2013 death of Chun Deng.   (AP Photo/Rich Schultz, File)

A judge in Pennsylvania has banned a fraternity from operating in the state for 10 years after the organization was found criminally liable for the death of a pledge four years ago. In December 2013, Chun Hsien Deng, a student at Baruch College, died after falling unconscious during a hazing ritual to get into Pi Delta Psi, an Asian-American fraternity. At the time, prosecutors said Deng had suffered from "major brain trauma" following a game of "Glass Ceiling," in which he was blindfolded, made to carry a backpack filled with sand, and assaulted by fraternity members. Prosecutors also said there was a "considerable delay" between the time Deng fell unconscious and when he was taken to a hospital.

Five frat members and Pi Delta Psi were charged with third-degree murder. Four of the men pleaded to lesser charges and will likely be sentenced later today, while the fraternity was acquitted. But Pi Delta Psi was found guilty of aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter, the New York Times reports. In addition to the 10-year ban, the judge ordered the fraternity to pay $112,500 in fines. The fraternity says it will appeal the decision, but the very fact that prosecutors chose to charge the fraternity, and the fact that a guilty verdict came down, could be a sign of the law taking a more aggressive approach to college hazing rituals that result in death. (More hazing stories.)

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