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8 PSU students charged in fall that injured cheerleader

| Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 9:20 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE — Eight Penn State students furnished alcohol to minors at a party where a university cheerleader fell from a fifth-floor window, suffering serious injuries, police said on Tuesday.

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

Authorities said in a statement that criminal complaints for misdemeanor charges of furnishing alcohol to minors and related offenses were filed and that the eight defendants would receive summonses.

Of the eight charged, five were younger than 21.

Four of the defendants, including two 21-year-olds, were former cheerleaders who had been removed from the team last week for an unspecified violation of team rules. A fifth defendant, 20, has been removed from the dance team, the school said Tuesday.

University spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the students might be sanctioned by the university once the school conducts its review of the police report.

“We are still concerned for Paige's recovery,” Powers 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.

Raque, a sophomore, suffered a severe brain injury and broke her pelvis. She could not talk or walk after the fall, but she held a news conference in December when she was released from a rehabilitation facility in Kentucky.

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