Ex-Fraternity Member at Penn State Is First to Plead Guilty in Hazing Death

A former fraternity member at Penn State University on Wednesday became the first person to plead guilty in a case stemming from the death of a pledge after a binge-drinking hazing ritual, an episode that roiled the campus and prompted a move to toughen anti-hazing laws.

Ryan Burke, 21, a former member of the university’s Beta Theta Pi chapter, pleaded guilty in a Pennsylvania court to nine misdemeanor charges, including four counts of hazing and five counts involving unlawful acts related to alcoholic beverages.

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