RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Former Delta Chi “pledge master” Christian Gordon Rohrbach pled guilty today to unlawful hazing in connection to the death of Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Adam Oakes.
The judge ordered a 12-month suspended sentence — meaning he will not serve jail time — under the conditions of good behavior, 100 hours of community service and participation in restorative justice programs.
“People need to be held accountable when their actions result in a death, and there is research to support that increases in penalty do deter bad behavior,” said Oakes’ cousin, Courtney White after today’s hearing. “Hazing someone to the point of death should be a felony in the state of Virginia.”
Rohrbach will also have to serve supervised probation, pay the costs of his legal proceedings and do five presentation on hazing through the Love Like Adam Foundation.
The 22-year-old is one of 11 former fraternity members who were indicted in connection to Oakes’ death in February 2021.
Oakes was found dead at a house on the 100 block of West Clay Street the morning after a Delta Chi party. It was determined by the Office of the Medical Examiner that the cause of death was alcohol poisoning.
“Hazing is a problem in the state of Virginia, and the sooner we recognize it as a problem, the better, and the more solutions we can come up with for change,” said “And I feel like that’s what our motive has been since his passing.”
Rohrbach is the second of the 11 defendants to plead guilty. In December 2021, Andrew White, Oakes’ “big brother” in the fraternity pled guilty to unlawful hazing and purchasing alcohol for a minor.