Changes Come to Penn State One Year After Hazing Death - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Changes Come to Penn State One Year After Hazing Death

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It's been a little more than a year since Penn State fraternity pledge, Timothy Piazza was killed after a night of heavy drinking inside a fraternity house.

That hazing case drew national attention, has three local kids facing charges, and has forced major changes at the university.

since piazza's death, Penn State has overhauled their Greek life, implementing new rules aimed at making sure this doesn’t happen again.

The new rules include:

  • A permanent ban of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity from Penn State University.
  • The number of parties has drastically been reduced. Each fraternity or sorority is only allowed to have 10 parties with alcohol per semester, down from 45 just a year ago.
  • Beer and wine only at parties, no kegs.
  • “Strongly enforced prohibition” of underage drinking.

One year later, the focus is still on the 20+ men charged with Piazza’s death, three of which are from Erie. Joseph Sala, Parker Yochim and Josh Kurczewski are all facing charges.

Over the summer, a judge dismissed all the serious charges in the case including aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter. However, the judge did bind over hazing, furnishing alcohol and reckless endangerment charges for trial.

Despite the original ruling, the serious charges have been refiled with the Centre County District Attorney’s office.

Joe Sala’s attorney, Leonard Ambrose says they will continue to move forward with the case but doesn't expect a different outcome.

"I expect the next round of hearings to go exactly as they did before, all the serious charges were dismissed against Joe Sala,” Ambrose said.

“There's no new evidence, this was a revenge move on the part of the former prosecutor who was run out of office and I have great confidence we'll be in the same position we were then.” He added.

A new date has not been set for the next round of hearings in the case. This one is now in the hands of the State attorney general's office

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