A Suffolk Country grand jury yesterday indicted former MIT fraternity Phi Gamma Delta on one count of manslaughter and one count of hazing in the October 1997 death of first-year pledge Scott Krueger.
The grand jury brought no charges against individual members of the fraternity or the MIT administration.
"There are no individuals [charged]-it is the fraternity as whole," said Dave Levane, spokesperson for the district attorney's office.
Levane indicated that any penalties-which would take the form of fines-would most likely be brought to bear on the top-level administration of the national fraternity, not just the MIT branch.
"This is the first time in my memory that the hazing statute has been applied against a fraternity in Massachusetts. It also marks the first time, to our memory, that a fraternity has been charged with manslaughter any-where," said Suffolk County District Attorney Ralph Martin in a news release.
Officials at the Phi Gamma Delta national headquarters in Lexington, Ky. declined to comment yesterday. The Inter-Fraternity Council at MIT referred all questions to the Institute's news office.
Yesterday MIT's administration affirmed its commitment to the investigation, which has involved testimony from Institute officials and fraternity members.
"Throughout the past year, MIT has cooperated with the Suffolk County District Attorney's investigation into the death of Scott Krueger and we will continue to do so as the charges against the fraternity are adjudicated," said MIT Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education Professor Rosalind Williams.
Tuesday's indictments follow an 11-month grand jury investigation initiated after Krueger's Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brothers allegedly left the first-year student to choke on his own vomit during an initiation ritual. Krueger died two days after being found in a coma in the fraternity house basement.
If convicted, the fraternity could be fined up to $3,000 for hazing. Levane refused to speculate on the amount the fraternity could be fined for the manslaughter charge.
MIT no longer formally recognizes the fraternity, which lost its housing license last November. The future of the Phi Gamma Delta property at 28, the Fenway--valued at $600,500 in the most recent tax assessment-remains undetermined.
The arraignment date is set for October 1