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NIU Students Charged With Hazing Make Court Appearance

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DEKALB (CBS) — Three Northern Illinois University students, facing felony hazing charges in death of a freshman, went before a Dekalb judge this afternoon.

19-year-old David Bogenberger died last November after a party at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, where he was a pledge. His blood alcohol level was five times the legal limit.

Those three fraternity brothers who appeared in court today all face felony hazing charges and could ultimately face time in prison.

Twenty-year-old Steven Libert, 21-year-old James Harvey and 21-year-old Omar Salameh were officers at NIU’s Pi Kappa Alpha house the night police say they threw an unsanctioned party where pledges like David Bogenberger were given tremendous amounts of alcohol.

Bogenberger was found dead inside the house the next morning, a coroner saying the alcohol contributed to his death.

In court today, those students pushed back their hearings until February. One attorney says that they are victims too because they lost a friend.

“With that said though, I’m sure it pales in comparison for the difficulties that the family is going through as well, with all that said though, I don’t believe that the state will be able to show that this tragic occurrence was the result of criminal conduct,” said the lawyer.

Two other fraternity officers are also facing felonies and will also have court hearings next month.

Seventeen others face misdemeanor hazing charges, all of them are also facing expulsion from school.

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