SYCAMORE, Illinois — Five former Northern Illinois University fraternity members were sentenced Friday to community service and fines in a hazing case involving the death of a freshman pledge after a night of heavy drinking.
The former Pi Kappa Alpha members each must complete 100 hours of community service and pay $1,000 fines. They were found guilty of misdemeanor reckless conduct and avoided jail time after reaching plea agreements with the DeKalb County States Attorney's office.
David Bogenberger was 19 years old when he died at the fraternity house in November 2012 after an unsanctioned party. A toxicology report said his blood-alcohol content was 0.351 percent.
Authorities said Bogenberger and other pledges drank vodka and other liquor, with several pledges telling police they got sick or passed out because of the drinking. A lawsuit filed by Bogenberger's family against the fraternity claimed that a fraternity member moved Bogenberger to a bedroom after he became unconscious, rather than seeking medical attention.
A judge threw out that lawsuit in December, saying the family's lawyer failed to prove the fraternity violated Illinois' anti-hazing law by requiring Bogenberger to consume alcohol in order to join. The judge also said the fraternity members couldn't be held responsible for not seeking medical attention after Bogenberger passed out.
The NIU chapter of the fraternity was closed after Bogenberger's death.
Ruth Bogenberger said Friday that her family would never be complete.
"Nothing that happens in the courtroom today will bring David back," she said. "So in the absence of that, we believe that we need to help other people to learn from the tragedy."
Seventeen others who faced misdemeanor charges will serve 100 hours of community service and pay $500 fines.