Frat hazing death charges were brought against 22 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity after the death of David Bogenberger. The Northern Illinois University student was found dead in the fraternity house during a night of drinking, and now the fraternity house has been closed and may be disbanded in light of the charges.
Twenty-two members of Pi Kappa Alpha were charged with 19-year-old Bogenberger's death, which a coroner ruled as cardiac arrhythmia, "with alcohol intoxication as a contributing cause," according to CBS News. His blood alcohol content was nearly five times the legal limit, most likely due to a night of drinking during a ritual at the fraternity house.
"The event that night involved the pledges rotating between several rooms in the fraternity house, being asked a series of questions, and then being provided cups of vodka and other liquor to drink. This resulted in the pledges drinking a large quantity of alcohol in about a two-hour time period," police said in an official statement to the press.
Five members of the fraternity are charged with felony hazing, while the remaining 17 face misdemeanor hazing charges. The University may expel or suspend 31 members of Pi Kappa Alpha for violating the school's code of conduct.
"He wanted to join the fraternity. He wanted to be accepted," Peter Coladarci, attorney for the Bogenberger family told ABC News. "He wanted to be liked like anyone else [who] wants to pledge a frat. The price put on it was to go through this ritual."
The Pi Kappa Alpha house has been closed and temporarily disbanded in the wake of Bogenberger's death. The young man was found dead in one of its rooms after the ritual took place, leaving a haunting image behind for fellow members and pledges.
"It is almost impossible for us to accept that David is gone at the age of 19… we have no desire for revenge. Rather, we hope that some significant change will come from David's death," his family said in a public statement.