COLUMBIA, Mo. – After a former Mizzou student was sentenced to jail time for hazing, Danny Santulli’s family hopes Missouri lawmakers will consider passing legislation to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

Back in October 2021, the Santulli family said their youngest son, Danny, was ordered to drink an entire bottle of vodka at a fraternity event. On Friday, the Santullis gave their victim impact statements during a sentencing hearing, explaining how that one night has done ever-lasting harm to Danny and their family.

“I find it even difficult to this day to look at pictures of what life was like, as it’s still very painful,” Mary Pat Santulli, Danny’s mom, said on the stand. “There are so many things that went wrong that dreadful night and so much was taken from my son.”

Danny Santulli rushed the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity during his freshman year at Mizzou. According to court documents, Danny attended “Pledge Dad Reveal Night” at the fraternity on Oct. 19, 2021. It was there he was told to drink an entire bottle of vodka. Just before midnight, Danny was found on the couch in distress.

Thirty minutes later, around 12:30 a.m., Santulli slid partially off the couch and ended up with his face on the floor. He had no control over his arms or legs and stayed there until someone passing through the room put him back on the couch. Prosecutors said no one called 911 and instead, his fraternity brothers picked him up and drove him to the hospital. Instead, the decision was made to drive Santulli to University Hospital in Columbia in one of the brother’s cars.

“Who in their right mind would give an 18-year-old, recently graduated from high school, 140 pounds, a bottle of Tito’s vodka and inform him to consume it?” Tom Santulli, Danny’s dad, said. “Do I think Ryan Delanty wanted Danny handicapped for the rest of his life? No, I don’t. Do I think Ryan intended to cause serious bodily injury towards Danny? Yes, I do.”

When they arrived at the hospital, Danny was not breathing and his blood alcohol content was .468, nearly six times the legal limit in Missouri. Today, Danny is in a wheelchair, blind, and unable to talk or care for himself.

“Danny was failed that night by people he thought were his friends and brothers,” Ellen Haugh, Danny’s cousin, said. “No one from the fraternity helped Danny because they were scared of the repercussions and being on more probation.”

On Friday, Danny’s pledge dad, Ryan Delanty, was handcuffed and taken away after being sentenced to serve six months in Boone County Jail and then another six months under house arrest. Earlier this month, Delanty pleaded guilty to hazing and supplying alcohol to a minor. Delanty’s attorney, Stephanie Fortus, said her client is remorseful.

“He knows how devastating this has been to Danny’s family; he knows the injuries that Danny has suffered; he understands the recklessness of handing him that bottle of vodka that night,” Fortus said. “There is not a minute that goes by that he doesn’t wish that could change. I hope by [Delanty] pleading guilty and accepting this punishment, that everybody can start to move forward.”

The Santulli family said multiple times Friday that Delanty has never apologized to them and didn’t seem remorseful for what happened.

“I wish he [Danny] had told me how bad he had been treated at the hands of Ryan Delanty and other members of Fiji,” Meredeth Santulli, Danny’s sister, said. “If I had known, I would have never driven him to that house on that fateful Tuesday night. It’s a lack of empathy from Ryan and the entire fraternity that has affected me the most.”

Now, the Santulli family is pushing for Missouri lawmakers to pass Danny’s Law, giving immunity to any person who renders aid to a hazing victim or is the first person to call 911. Tom Santulli said if that action had been taken back in 2021, it could have put Danny in a much different situation today.

“It will make a big difference and if it gets passed, then if others’ lives are saved throughout the country after today, it’s because of Danny,” Tom Santulli said.

The bill has been discussed for the past two years in Jefferson City, but not much action has been taken. The Santulli family hopes that since the main actor in this hazing case is now behind bars, this will put more momentum on getting “Danny’s Law” across the finish line during next year’s session.

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Mary Pat, who is Danny’s full-time caregiver, said Friday that Danny is making progress.

“Every day he gets stronger; he continues to fight his way through this to come back to us,” she said. “Each day we see small, little changes and every day we celebrate those. Every day we get up for Danny and he makes us all a better family and better people.”

Six other fraternity brothers have pleaded guilty in this case and four others still have cases pending but the Santulli family said they had their eyes focused on this specific fraternity brother since he was responsible for him that night in 2021.

“They actually helped the prosecutor so they will get lighter plea deals,” Tom Santulli said. “Do I want them to go through with what we went through with Ryan? No, I don’t. The main actor was today.”

Shortly after the October 2021 event, Mizzou stopped recognizing the fraternity as a student organization and the national organization closed the chapter.