Jury finds Emmanuel Bile Jr. guilty of two counts of aggravated rape in UMass gang rape trial

By Nick Canelas

Bile takes the witness stand during his trial on March 26, 2015. (Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
Bile takes the witness stand during his trial on March 26, 2015. (Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

NORTHAMPTON – Emmanuel T. Bile Jr., one of four men accused of gang raping a University of Massachusetts freshman in 2012, was found guilty of two of three aggravated rape charges Monday afternoon.

A Hampshire Superior Court jury determined the 21-year-old Pittsfield native participated in gang-raping the then 18-year-old woman in her Pierpont Hall dorm room in the Southwest Residential Area with three other men on Oct. 13, 2012.

The jury deliberated for about 10 hours following the week-long trial that concluded Friday morning. The jury foreman read the verdict just after 2 p.m. Monday.

Bile, wearing a blue button-down shirt with a yellow tie, stood motionless with his hands folded in front of his body, staring straight ahead as the foreman read the words “guilty as charged” on the first and third counts. Police escorted Bile out in handcuffs.

Bile’s parents sat still and silent in the back of the courtroom. The victim, who testified last week, was not in attendance.

Judge Jeffrey C. Kinder scheduled sentencing for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl requested sentencing be postponed so the victim can give a statement.

The maximum sentence for aggravated rape is life in prison.

“Today’s verdict owes to the extreme courage the victim displayed in testifying at trial, and to the thorough investigation conducted by the University of Massachusetts Police Department, ” Suhl said in a statement.

“The Commonwealth is grateful to the jury for their time and attention, and now turns its focus toward the remaining three cases.”

Bile is the first of four men to be tried for allegedly entering Pierpont after being signed in by a UMass student, entering the woman’s dorm room and gang-raping her.
Adam Liccardi, 20, Justin King, 21, both of Pittsfield, and Caleb Womack, 20, of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, each face three counts of aggravated rape. Liccardi faces a fourth charge for allegedly having sex with the woman after the other three men left the room.

The men were 17 and 18 at the time. They were not UMass students.

All four defendants were charged with three counts of aggravated rape under a theory of joint venture. This theory states that each defendant is responsible for the actions of the other defendants.

Both Suhl and defense attorney David A. Pixley were unavailable for comment Monday.

Bile testified last week that he was heavily intoxicated that night and had difficulty walking once he entered the building. However, video evidence from the dorm’s surveillance cameras showed him jogging up and down the stairs.

Bile told jurors in his testimony Thursday that the victim was “tipsy” at the time of the incident, despite telling police days after the alleged rape that the woman was drunk.

Suhl argued Friday that Bile wants a “free pass” from jurors because he was drunk.

“Being under the influence of alcohol is not an excuse to rape someone,” she told jurors.

Nick Canelas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @NickCanelas.