Antonio Tsialas death: Lawsuit claims Christmas-themed hazing at Cornell frat linked to probe

Cornell University freshmen were allegedly subjected to Christmas-themed hazing that included chugging alcoholic drinks, sitting on Santa’s lap and being submerged in trashcans during a frat party at the center of an investigation into the death of Antonio Tsialas.

Newly reported details of the alleged hazing were included in a lawsuit filed late Tuesday by Tsialas’ parents, who were offering a $10,000 reward for information that reveals what led to his death in late October. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Cornell, the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and several of its members.

Other students have also suggested Tsialas attended the Phi Kappa Psi frat party and traveled with at least one other person to a remote area near Fall Creek in Ithaca, according to David Bianchi, an attorney for the parents.

Authorities later recovered Tsialas’ body in a gorge at Fall Creek. Cornell University Police have said they don’t suspect foul play and declined to discuss details of their investigation.

“The Cornell University Police continue to actively investigate Antonio Tsialas’ tragic death and the events of the night that preceded it,” Chief David Honan said in a statement last month.

Meanwhile, what happened to Tsialas after the party remains a mystery to the public, and one of the elements of the parents’ search for answers is the history of Cornell student suicides connected to the gorges in Ithaca.

Bianchi has dismissed the possibility that Tsialas died by suicide and emphasized the frat party is the primary focus of private investigators hired by his parents.

“The arrogance of these fraternity officers and members is shocking,” Bianchi said Wednesday in a statement.

Tsialas Family files lawsuit in Cornell fraternity death case
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