Fraternity chapter guilty in Cornell hazing death

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Associated Press

Posted on June 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 28 at 10:02 AM

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A fraternity has been found guilty of hazing in the alcohol poisoning death of a Cornell University student from New York City.

The Ithaca Journal reports (http://ithacajr.nl/MVsaFS ) that a county judge convicted the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter of violating the state's anti-hazing laws in the February 2011 death of George Desdunes (dehz-DOONZ'). Authorities say the 19-year-old sophomore from Brooklyn died after drinking too much alcohol during a hazing ritual.

The judge issued her decision Tuesday, when she also cleared three former pledges of hazing charges.

The fraternity chapter faces a fine of about $12,000.

The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon organization's general counsel, Frank Ginocchio, says it wasn't involved in the case. He says the fine would paid by the chapter, which has since disbanded.

Cornell withdrew recognition of the fraternity after Desdunes died.

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Information from: The Ithaca Journal, http://www.theithacajournal.com

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