Emmanuel T. Bile Jr. sentenced Wednesday morning for involvement in 2012 gang rape

By Aviva Luttrell

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
Bile stands as he listens to Judge Kinder’s sentencing decision Wednesday, April 1. (Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

NORTHAMPTON – Emmanuel T. Bile Jr. was sentenced to eight to 10 years in state prison followed by five years of probation Wednesday morning for his involvement in the 2012 gang rape of a University of Massachusetts freshman.

Bile was found guilty by a jury Monday afternoon of two of three counts of aggravated rape.

Bile, wearing a light gray button-down shirt and khaki pants, was led into the courtroom in handcuffs and remained emotionless as Judge Jeffrey C. Kinder announced his sentence. Before the sentencing, Kinder heard recommendations from both the prosecution and the defense, as well as an impact statement from the victim.

The victim, wearing a beige sweater and maroon pants, began crying before finishing the first sentence and trembled as she read the prepared statement off a piece of paper.

She described how after the incident, she couldn’t be in social settings without paranoia and couldn’t bear to stay at UMass.

“An incredible emptiness and sadness took over my life,” she said.

“I thought Emmanuel was my friend,” she continued, adding that he treated her like “less than a human or an animal, but an object he could do whatever he wanted with.

“I hope in the future people will recognize the tragedy of rape,” she said.

Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl recommended a sentence of 10 to 12 years in state prison for the first count of aggravated rape and five years of probation with special conditions for the third count.

“These are some of the worst acts we can imagine in our society,” she said, adding Bile committed them when the victim was at her most vulnerable. Furthermore, she said he and the other three man accused of gang raping the victim played a role in making her that vulnerable by repeatedly passing her a bottle of vodka.

Suhl said Bile showed a “lack of remorse” or understanding about what he did.

Defense Attorney David A. Pixley asked for a sentence of 4½ to 8½ years in state prison, saying Bile had no juvenile record, didn’t violate the conditions of his pre-trial release and showed up for all court dates.

Pixley asked Judge Kinder to consider that Bile was just 18 years old at the time of the incident, and that he will “be in the public eye of the community wherever he goes” after his release.

Pixley also asked Kinder to consider the involvement of peer pressure in the incident, as well as his intoxication and his “not fully developed” mind.

Before the sentencing, Kinder thanked the victim for her statement.

“No one can experience the emotional trauma of what you experienced without having lived it,” he said. He called the incident “every parent’s worst nightmare,” both for the victim and the defendant.

Before making his decision, Kinder said he considered Bile’s youth and lack of criminal history, but said there were “aggravating factors, as well.”

Kinder said Bile abused the victim’s trust, watched his friends rape her and then joined in. When he was finished, Kinder said, he left her there.

“Perhaps most disturbing was after sober reflection he showed no remorse,” Kinder said.

Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven E. Gagne told reporters outside the courthouse he was “pleased with the sentencing.”

“It is commensurate with the horrific facts of the case,” he said.

Gagne said the other three men involved – Adam Liccardi, 20, Justin King, 21, both of Pittsfield, and Caleb Womack, 20, of Windsor Locks, Connecticut – are all on the April trial schedule.

“By all accounts, the victim is prepared to testify as many times as needed,” Gagne said.

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