Four members of a nationwide Asian American college fraternity were jailed for up to two years on Monday in the killing of a 19-year-old rushee during a hazing ritual. A Pennsylvania judge also banned the fraternity from the state for 10 years.
“This has proved to be the most troubling case to me in 19 years,” Judge Margherita Patti-Worthington said while issuing her decision. “Not one person out of 37 picked up a telephone and called an ambulance. I cannot wrap my head around it,”
In addition, the judge ordered the fraternity to pay $110,000 in fines.
Deng was blindfolded, forced to wear a heavy backpack and then repeatedly tackled and punched while walking through a gauntlet as part of the fraternity’s initiation ceremony in a rented home in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains in 2013.Deng was knocked unconscious and later died at a hospital – but not before the boys attempted to cover up the crime while he lay dying, a grand jury later heard. They didn’t call an ambulance because of the cost.
Kwan received 12-24 months in county jail. Lam and Wong were sentenced to 10-24 months each. Lai, who spent 342 days in jail after he was unable to make bail, was sentenced to time served.
Last month, dozens of other fraternity members present at the hazing were given probation of varying lengths.
All four defendants showed remorse and apologized, some of them tearfully.
The judge and a prosecutor slammed Pi Delta Psi for calling itself a victim of rogue fraternity members, saying the fraternity tolerated and even encouraged hazing for years.
“It’s the epitome of a lack of acceptance of responsibility. It’s their rituals and functions that led us here today,” Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Kim Metzger said in court.