April 23, 2014

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Documents released detailing alleged rape

Maria Uminski/Collegian

The four Pittsfield men charged with raping an 18-year-old University of Massachusetts student last month repeatedly assaulted the woman for one to two hours in a room in Pierpont Hall, according to documents released yesterday by an Eastern Hampshire District Court judge.

Judge John M. Payne Jr. released the criminal complaint in which the four men were charged, the probable cause statement filed by the UMass Police Department, the search warrant, and the name of the dormitory where the alleged rape occurred – all of which had previously been impounded. The alleged rape happened in the early hours of Oct. 13.

The documents detail the allegations against Emmanuel Toffee Bile, 18, Justin A. King, 18, Caleb Womack, 17, and Adam T. Liccardi, 18, the alleged attackers. Three of the men were charged with three counts of rape, and Liccardi was charged with a fourth count. All four men – who are not UMass students – have denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all counts at an arraignment on Oct. 22.

The victim knew her alleged attackers through a mutual friend from her hometown, according to the criminal complaint, which was written by UMass Police detective Derek Napoli.

The victim never had a “sexual or intimate relationship of any kind with any of the four suspects,” according to the report.

The four Pittsfield men had texted her earlier in the day, asking to visit her at the University. She told the men not to come, according to the report.

The report states that when the victim returned to her dorm room later that night and found the men, she was intoxicated. She continued to drink with the men and two of her friends in her room, according to the report.

The men had brought marijuana with them, according to the report. Three of the men and the victim smoked it together.

The group drank and ‘hung out’ for approximately two hours before the victim’s two friends left, the police report stated.

After her friends left, the lights were turned off and three of the four men “‘attacked’ her on the bed and began ripping her clothes off,” said the report.

According to the report, the victim was coming in and out of consciousness during the assault. But, it said, she could “see figures and shadows of the assailants.”

During the alleged rape, she felt the suspects “attempting to penetrate her orally, vaginally and anally all at the same time. She is able to recall the suspects taking turns and she heard them arguing over whose turn it was next,” said the report.

Throughout the alleged rape, the victim repeatedly told her alleged attackers to stop, according to the police report.

The victim estimated the assault lasted for between one and two hours.

“This only came to an end when she was alert enough to form words and was crying in pain for them to stop,” reads the report.

Three of the four suspects left the room “quickly” following the alleged rape, according to the report.

Liccardi, the report stated, stayed behind and “hugged her and tried to comfort her telling her that she was beautiful and that she did not deserve this.”

After falling asleep, the victim was awakened by “severe pain” as Liccardi vaginally raped her. He stopped when she cried, telling him that it hurt, according to the report.

The next morning, the victim received a text message from Bile. She responded by telling him to not talk to her because “they raped her.” He responded by saying that he had “stopped and left” and that he “shouldn’t have let that happen,” according to the report.

At the arraignment of the four men on Oct. 22, defense attorneys focused on the exchange of texts between the victim, Bile and the three other implicated men. They said that it was Bile who initiated the conversation asking the victim where Liccardi was that day.

After Bile texted her “apologizing” for the incident, she responded to him saying she would not report the incident to police if each of her alleged attackers gave her $500, said lawyers in the courtroom at the arraignment.

The prosecutor – Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl – said during the arraignment that the victim’s request for money was used as a defense tactic. She stated that the victim asked for the money “to protect herself. She was afraid they would do something to her.”

At the arraignment, more details were also given about how the men entered the victim’s dorm room.

Three of the four men were signed into the dorm by a stranger, according to Suhl. The police are still investigating how the fourth man entered the building. They then let themselves into her dorm room, which was unlocked, Suhl said.

At an Oct. 26 hearing seeking a reduced bail for Womack, his lawyer, Raymond Jacoub, offered a strikingly different account of the night.

In court, Jacoub said that Womack, Liccardi and Bile left the room around the same time that the two friends of the victim left, according to media reports. When the men returned to the room, he said, they found the victim having sex with King.

“The three others joined in. This was a gross act of bad judgment and not a sexual assault,” Jacoub was quoted as saying in The Republican.

The police report, however, states that Bile was “one of the first to sexually assault” the victim.

Jacoub said the case rests on the question of if the sex was consensual.

He said it was consensual because when talking to his client after the incident, the victim referred to the incident as a “gang bang” rather than a rape which he said is a “euphemistic” term for consensual group sex, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Hampshire Superior Court Judge Daniel Ford denied the bail reduction.

At the Oct. 22 arraignment, all four men were given the same bail conditions of $10,000 with GPS monitoring by Eastern Hampshire District Court Judge Mary Hurley. Additionally, the defendants were given a 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and ordered to submit to weekly random drug and alcohol screenings.

The judge also issued an active restraining order prohibiting the men from being within 100 yards of the victim. The suspects are also barred from entering Great Barrington, New Marlborough and Amherst.

So far, two of the four have appealed the ruling.

Bile had his bail reduced to $3,500 by Ford in a court appearance on Tuesday, according to The Republican. He posted bail yesterday.

During yesterday’s hearing, during which Payne released the case’s once-impounded documents, he also adjusted the conditions of Womack’s bail. The bail remains at $10,000, but Womack is allowed to live in Connecticut as long as he is monitored by GPS tracking. In addition, his curfew was extended until 10:30 p.m. on Mondays so he can continue to attend his night class at Springfield Technical Community College.

Liccardi’s lawyer is expected to seek a lower bail on Monday.

The Republican, Daily Hampshire Gazette and Berkshire Eagle had filed a request asking for the judge to release the impounded case files.

Three of the defense attorneys and the Northwestern District Attorney argued against releasing the name of the dormitory, saying it could compromise the investigation, according to reports.

Katie Landeck can be reached at klandeck@student.umass.edu.

Comments
5 Responses to “Documents released detailing alleged rape”
  1. hm says:

    good god. where was everyone else in the dorm as this was going on?!

  2. Kristina says:

    There is no way to even question whether or not this was consensual. In Massachusetts, a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot legally consent to have sex. If both/all parties involved are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, such as in this case, the person/people who initiate penetration are to be held responsible for rape. It is very disturbing that a lawyer would defend these actions and unfortunate that people downplay the seriousness of sexual assaults by referring to them as “gross acts of judgment”. It is clear that rape supportive attitudes are still prevalent in our society, and unfortunately this is unlikely to change until education on this issue improves.

  3. Dr. Ed Cutting says:

    Kristina, you need to first understand that it is the lawyer’s *job* to defend his client, be the client innocent or guilty. It is the DA’s job to do his damnest to throw the lawyer’s client into jail. That’s how the system works.

    I do find it troubling, however, that you believe that the guy should always be considered guilty, even when they are both equally drunk. This is the insanity defense which dates back to Midevil England, and the principle was that it was inherently unfair to hold those “not in their right mind” responsible for what they did. Hence they would be locked up in an insane asylum instead of being hung.

    Kristina, if you are drunk out of your mind, how do you know if I am sober, drunk, or what? Absolutely every other judgment you made would be acceptable as wrong — how can you presume to be sober enough to judge my sobriety (or lack thereof) when you aren’t sober enough to drive a vehicle?

  4. Dr. Ed Cutting says:

    Would Officer Derek Napoli be the police officer formerly known as Seageant Derek Napoli, Badge Number 155?

    Napoli is why I doubt I will ever again trust a police officer in this or any other lifetime. He is why I am no longer proud to be an Amerian and why I no longer enjoy watching fireworks displays.

    Why this man is still a police officer is beyond me.

  5. hm says:

    Kristina,
    the way to question this is to note that people are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty. i am not close to this situation, i am also not inclined to leap to any judgments, nor to join a lynch mob.

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