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Former University of Missouri fraternity member pleads guilty to hazing causing brain damage

COLUMBIA, MO — A former University of Missouri fraternity member has pleaded guilty in the hazing of another student that caused blindness and significant brain damage.

Ryan P. Delanty of Manchester, Missouri, pleaded guilty Friday in Boone County to furnishing alcohol to a minor and misdemeanor hazing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of six months in prison followed by six months of house arrest. Sentencing is May 24.

The October 2021 hazing at a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity event left freshman Danny Santulli unable to see, walk or talk.

“Ryan understands the seriousness of the situation and he is happy to reach a resolution that avoided a trial,” Delanty attorney Stephanie Fortus said.

Santulli was pledging his brotherhood in October when he was found unconscious due to alcohol poisoning. Authorities said his blood alcohol level was 0.486, six times the legal limit.

The fraternity chapter was closed. Relatives of Santulli filed a civil suit against the brotherhood and 23 members. It was settled for an unspecified amount in 2022.

Another fraternity member, Thomas Shultz of Chesterfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty in April to furnishing alcohol to a minor. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, two years of probation, and was ordered to perform community service and complete a drug and alcohol education program.

ABC News

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