The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 29, 2013

8 Penn State students linked to cheerleader's fall

STATE COLLEGE —

Eight Penn State students face a misdemeanor charge of furnishing alcohol to minors after police said they attended a party during which a university cheerleader suffered serious injuries from a fall out of a fifth-floor window.

Paige Raque, 19, suffered head and pelvic injuries after falling 39 feet out a screened window of a downtown State College apartment in October. Police have ruled the fall an accident.

Authorities said in a statement that criminal complaints for the furnishing charges and related offenses were filed Tuesday, and that the eight defendants would receive summonses.

The investigation found "eight Penn State University students that furnished alcoholic beverages to minors who were attending a party" at the downtown apartment the same night of Raque's fall, police said in the statement.

Of the eight charged, five were younger than 21.

Last week, the university removed four cheerleaders from the squad for an unspecified violation of team rules. It was unclear whether any of the students charged Tuesday were cheerleaders, though four people with the names of the defendants were on a spring 2012 cheerleading roster along with Raque's.

In a statement, the university said that it was "dealing appropriately" with the students' status on their respective teams, and that the students face potential university sanctions after the school conducts its own review of the police report.

"We are still concerned for Paige's recovery," the university said. "This was a tragic and unfortunate accident that could have been avoided."

Raque returned home to Louisville, Ky., for her recovery. Her family has said Raque still suffers from nerve pain in her feet and struggles with toe movement but is doing well overall with cognitive and physical therapy.

 

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