Frat brothers sentenced to jail in Penn State hazing death
A Pennsylvania judge handed out the first jail sentences in the hazing death of. The 19-year-old student died in February 2017 after an alcohol-fueled event at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. Piazza’s death led to criminal charges against 28 former fraternity members, three of whom will now serve time behind bars.
This case represents one of the largest hazing prosecutions in U.S. history. The three former Beta Theta Pi brothers who received jail time Tuesday had pleaded guilty to charges related to hazing.
Twenty-one-year-olds Luke Visser and Michael Bonatucci were both sentenced to up to six months in jail. Twenty-year-old Joshua Kurczewski received up to nine months.
The judge also gave 21-year-old Joseph Sala up to 10 months of house arrest. All four men also received probation and will pay fines. Visser, Bonatucci and Sala were given community service.
The judge may later amend the three jail sentences to house arrest. Piazza family attorney Tom Kline said, were in the courtroom for Tuesday’s sentencing. Kline said it was “a significant step forward in the long road to justice.”
Meanwhile, there are still more members to be sentenced. Last year, a judge dismissed the most serious allegations against some of the students, including felony aggravated assault charges.
A judge also tossed involuntary manslaughter charges against the fraternity’s president and pledge master, who are still awaiting trial.
© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.