Students mixed on charges stemming from cheerleader fall

Published: Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:27 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 16, 2013 at 3:43 AM EDT
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Paige Raque
Paige Raque
Matt Goldberg
Matt Goldberg
Justin Brandt
Justin Brandt

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Eight people are facing charges after a Penn State cheerleader and Louisville native fell five stories out an apartment window.

Paige Raque continues to recover from her injuries that could have cost her life. Meanwhile, eight people - three of them age 21, two age 20, and the final three age 19 - are now charged with furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor, a misdemeanor. Some consider it a bold move by prosecutors to file criminal charges against Raque's friends and fellow cheerleaders who were at the party.

"Most of our party houses for UofL are near campus," explained Justin Brandt, the UofL Student Body President.

For Raque at Penn State and for students around the country, many parties are close, but not on campus. That way, school rules aren't broken. But what about the law?

At UofL, from Greeks to clubs, many times designated drivers are found at off-campus parties and that's usually the major legal concern for organizers.

In Raque's case, no one expected something to go so terribly wrong inside an apartment. According to police, Raque was intoxicated when she got on a table to dance and fell out an open window. Police say the eight, which include several of Raque's fellow cheerleaders, paid other friends who are of age to buy alcohol.

The charges send a sobering message.

"This is kind of the worst case scenario being charged in something like that," said Matt Goldberg, a UofL grad student, "It's a sad story, but it's kind of something you have to expect could happen if you do something like that."

Brandt maintains while students should look out for one another, criminal charges may take it too far.

"You can't scare kids to not have college parties and part of it is, the juniors and seniors are old enough to host parties and college freshman are going to be going to those things," Brandt said.

The police report finds the fall was an accident, Brandt asked where does personal responsibility fall?

"Ultimately, unless someone's forcing you to drink more, that's on you," said Brandt.

Raque has not been charged. The likely thinking is the injuries from her fall are more than enough punishment.

Brandt said he would opt for increasing awareness instead of assigning blame.

Paige Raque's father told WAVE 3 he doesn't have a comment on the charges for now, but says his daughter's recovery is ahead of schedule.

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