Court: Frat served beer to teen who died

Dec. 16, 2010 at 3:46 PM
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BELLEFONTE, Pa., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania State University fraternity faces a maximum $300 fine for giving beer to an 18-year-old freshman whose body was later found on campus.

Alpha Tau Omega is legally responsible for giving alcohol to Joseph Dado, an 18-year-old freshman engineering student from Latrobe, Pa., found dead 39 hours after drinking beer at the fraternity, Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler ruled in the non-jury trial.

The fraternity could face a fine of $300 and its officers might be ordered to perform community service, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Kistler will sentence the fraternity Jan. 25.

Kistler said a lack of evidence fraternity members physically handed beer to Dato Sept. 19, 2009, did not mean state liquor regulations prohibiting alcohol from being furnished to minors did not apply.

The beer had been purchased with fraternity funds, prosecutors argued, and friends of Dado testified at the trial they had to show wristbands at the fraternity's door to get in.

The fraternity argued individual members were at fault, not the organization.

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