First sentences handed down in Penn State hazing case

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WPVI) -- With heads hanging low four former Penn State fraternity brothers walked into a Pennsylvania courtroom to face the judge for the hazing death of Timothy Piazza.

Joseph Sala, Michael Bonatucci, Luke Visser and Joshua Kurczewski all sentenced Tuesday for Piazza's 2017 death after the 19-year-old died following an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual.

Sala, who is charged with three counts of hazing and one count of conspiracy to commit hazing, will serve three months house arrest and more than two and a half years probation.

Bonatucci and Visser could both spend up to 6 months behind bars.

Kurczewski was dealt the harshest punishment with three to nine months in jail.

The four are among 26 members of Beta Theta Pi charged in the case.

Prosecutors say it took Piazza's fraternity brothers 12 hours to call 911 after finding the 19 year old unconscious following a night of forced drinking which ended with Piazza falling head-first down a flight of stairs.

"We are committed to holding every individual accountable for their actions at Beta Theta Pi that night," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

A furious legal battle followed Piazza's death with a judge dismissing the most serious charges of manslaughter against five of the members. But many are still facing a slew of other charges, including tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment and hazing. They are yet to be sentenced.

"They committed serious crimes and now they have to deal with it," said Jim Piazza, Timothy's father

Piazza's parents told ABC News that they hope their son's case will serve as a warning to others and make students think twice before hazing anyone.
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