Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Rape charges dropped against local women

By Matt Belliveau, Collegian Staff

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NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton judge dropped aggravated rape charges against two Northampton women Aug. 2 due to the alleged victim?s unwillingness to testify.The dropped charges followed the request of the Northwestern District Attorney?s office. Rachel Klobertanz, 23, and Augusta Claire Kendall, 22, both of 104 South St., Apt. 2L, were each charged in January with two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of assault and battery and one count each of aggravated assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Klobertanz also faced a charge of violation of an abuse-prevention order.All charges were dropped after the district attorney?s office declared that the alleged victim was continually uncooperative with the ongoing investigation. The victim resides out of state and has reportedly indicated that she would not voluntarily return to testify. ?Additional info that was made after the arrest has substantially affected that commonwealth’s ability to meet its burden of proof in the case,” Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Susan Loehn wrote in the statement in Kendall and Klobertanz’ court files.District Court Judge Michael Goggins granted Loehn’s request to drop the charges.Prosecutors had alleged that the women handcuffed and raped a 22-year-old female Smith College student on Jan. 14. Kendall was also a Smith student.The victim reportedly went to Kendall and Klobertanz’ South St. apartment where the three drank alcohol and engaged in what began as consensual sex.Later, the accused allegedly handcuffed the woman, put a knife to her stomach, cut her many times and raped her before letting her go, police reports said. According to reports, she admitted to having a prior relationship with Klobertanz.After victim?s alleged assault had ended she reportedly went to the Northampton Police Department where she was then transported to the Cooley Dickinson Hospital where she was treated and released. According to Northampton Detective Jody Kasper, the victim had visible lacerations caused by a knife. She also had bite marks and bruises throughout her entire body. Klobertanz and Kendall were arrested the next day, after the woman reported the incident to police. Klobertanz and Kendall were not present in court this week when the charges were dropped.

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