‘Multiple people’ will be charged in connection with Penn State cheerleader Paige Raque's fall

mcarroll@centredaily.comDecember 6, 2012 

State College police expect multiple people will be charged stemming from a party in October during which a 19-year-old Penn State cheerleader fell from a fifth-floor window and suffered serious injuries.

Police Chief Tom King said on Thursday that officers are pursuing misdemeanor charges of furnishing alcohol to minors against “more than one or two” suspects in the case.

Paige Raque, a freshman at Penn State, suffered serious brain and hip injuries Oct. 15 after falling 39 feet out of a window in a downtown State College apartment building.

While police have said foul play is not suspected, alcohol was apparently being served to minors at the party.

A search warrant was filed in November to obtain Raque’s blood alcohol content from Mount Nittany Medical Center, where the young woman initially was transported after the fall. In the document, officers wrote an initial investigation revealed alcohol was being served in the room from which Raque fell.

Until Thursday, police had released little additional information, citing an ongoing investigation. King said a heavy workload on the investigating detective and a large number of witnesses and suspects in the case played a role in the time frame.

Police hope the investigation will be complete by the end of the year and think charges will be filed by mid-January.

“We’re confident we will be filing charges against multiple people for furnishing alcohol to minors at a party being held at that particular apartment,” King said. “There is absolutely no indication of foul play. This wasn’t an intentional act.”

King said most, but not all, of those they have interviewed have cooperated with police. He would not provide names of suspects or confirm whether any are Penn State students.

Because the charges are misdemeanors, suspects would be processed at the police department and would face a preliminary hearing before a district judge.

A local defense attorney said someone who was found guilty on the charges, and who doesn’t have a prior criminal record, would receive probation under a standard range sentence. The maximum penalty is two years incarceration and a $5,000 fine

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller did not respond to an email message seeking comment.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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