Wednesday, October 24, 2012
(College): Four teens, sexual assault an 18 year old female University of Massachusetts at Amherst Student
(From: Boston Globe)
At the arraignment of the four suspects Monday in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl provided a graphic account of the alleged assaults, drawing a shocked reaction from the judge.
Judge Mary Hurley set bail at $10,000 cash for each of the defendants and said, “Never in my time on the bench have I heard such an egregious recounting of facts.’’
According to Suhl, the men texted the woman before the encounter, saying they wanted to visit her dorm, and she replied that she did not want them to come. They went to Amherst, anyway, Suhl said, and were signed into the dormitory by a stranger. The woman was not in her room when the suspects entered the building, but they let themselves into her room when they discovered the door unlocked, according to Suhl. When the woman returned, she agreed to let the men stay and to socialize with them, Suhl said.
The men at one point shut off the lights and stripped the woman and then repeatedly raped her, according to Suhl. After the assaults, three of the men left the room; Liccardi stayed and raped the woman again, according to Suhl.
Defense attorneys fired back in court, saying the woman was inebriated and tried to extort money from their clients. Citing police reports, the lawyers said the woman told investigators that she drank eight or nine shots of liquor, a couple of beers, and smoked marijuana before the encounter.
According to both Suhl and the defense lawyers, the woman texted Bile the following day and accused the four of raping her. David Pixley, a lawyer for Bile, said the woman told his client in a text message that if they each paid her $500 cash, she would not report what they had done to police. Bile reportedly sent a text back, apologizing for his actions and those of his friends. Suhl said the woman was not blackmailing anyone, but was using a “safety tactic” to protect herself by misleading her attackers into believing she was willing to keep silent, as she sought help.