Four years after the fatal hazing in Pennsylvania of a freshman from Baruch College in New York City, a fraternity has been banned by a judge from operating in Pennsylvania for 10 years.
The New York Times reports that the judge’s ruling came after the fraternity—Pi Delta Psi— was found guilty in Stroudsburg, Pa., of aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter.
The student, Chun Hsien Deng, had traveled in December 2013 from New York City to a rental house in the Pocono Mountains where he was supposed to finish the pledging process for Pi Delta Psi, an Asian-American fraternity.
Deng, blindfolded and wearing a backpack weighted with sand, was tackled and pushed around by fraternity members before he fell unconscious, the authorities say. He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead the next day.
“This has proved to be the most troubling case to me in 19 years,” Monroe County, Pa., Judge Margherita Patti-Worthington said.
Pi Delta Psi was ordered to pay $112,500 in fines and placed on probation for 10 years. As a condition of the probation, the fraternity is forbidden from operating in Pennsylvania for 10 years. The organization says it has two chapters in Pennsylvania.
The fraternity plans on appealing. Prosecutors had described the rituals Deng took part in as widely used by Pi Delta Psi, but Wieslaw Niemoczynski, the fraternity’s lawyer, said the brutality of the hazing Deng faced was a “deviation and departure” from the usual ritual.
In addition to the charges against the fraternity, five men were charged with third-degree murder and other crimes. Four of the men pleaded guilty in May to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and hindering apprehension; they are expected to be sentenced later Monday.
The fraternity was acquitted of the murder charge in November.
Deng, an 18-year-old from Queens, collapsed while taking part in a ritual called the “glass ceiling.” He was the most defiant of the pledges, riling other fraternity members by kicking one of the men lined up to tackle him and not saying things he was supposed to, according to a grand jury report. The others reacted forcefully, knocking him to the ground and one of them ran toward him from 15 feet away with his head lowered, the report said.
One of the fraternity members later told investigators, the report says, that they didn't for an ambulance because one of them had looked up the cost and they thought it was expensive.
A national fraternity official told members over the phone to hide anything bearing the fraternity’s logo, the report said.
About an hour later, Deng was driven to a hospital, where doctors found that he had sustained severe head trauma and his body head was covered in bruises. He died the next day.