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First of 37 Defendants in Baruch College Fatal Hazing Case Pleads Guilty

One of 37 defendants charged in the wrongful death of a Baruch College student during a fraternity hazing in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains back in 2013 pleaded guilty to a felony charge in Monroe County Court of Common Pleas in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. 

About the Hazing and Resulting Trial

According to Reuters, Ka-Wing Yuen, a resident of Brooklyn N.Y., pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to hinder apprehension by evidence tampering and conspiracy to commit hazing. Three other charges were dropped.

Yuen and 36 of his fellow co-conspirators from Pi Delta Psi, which is an Asian-American cultural fraternity at Baruch College, were arrested back in December 2013 after Chun “Michael” Deng, a 19 year-old from Queens N.Y who had pledged to join the fraternity, had died from head injuries as a result of a pledging ritual known as “the glass ceiling”.

Deng’s initiation into the fraternity took place in a rented home located in the Pocono Mountains about 96 miles west of New York City. Deng was blindfolded, forced to walk with a 30-pound backpack through a line of fraternity members, and then repeatedly pushed down to the ground every time he tried to get back up and keep walking.

Yuen is due to be sentenced on January 23 by Judge Margherit Worthington. The minimum sentence he could receive is probation and the maximum sentence he could receive is several months in prison.

Five of the 36 remaining defendant may be facing third-degree murder charges. Yuen’s attorney and the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case could not be reached for comment.

Hazing Facts

According to Inside Hazing:

  • More than 250,000 students experienced some sort of hazing to join a college athletic team.
  • 5% of all college students have admitted to being hazed while 40% admit to knowing about hazing activities.
  • Alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep- deprivation, and sex acts are hazing practices common across types of student groups.
  • In more than half of the hazing incidents, a member of the offending group posts pictures on a public web space.
  • 47% of students come to college had prior experienced hazing.
  • 9 out of 10 students who have experienced hazing behavior in college do not consider themselves to have been hazed.
  • 82% of hazing deaths from hazing involve alcohol.

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