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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday

Pierpont Residence Hall in the Southwest Residential Area. (Collegian File Photo)
Pierpont Residence Hall in the Southwest Residential Area. (Collegian File Photo)

NORTHAMPTON — After nearly two hours of testimony Friday, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl asked the woman who accused four men of raping her in her University of Massachusetts dorm room in 2012 whether she consented to sex with the four individuals.

The questions were asked in succession, as jurors heard Suhl ask whether the woman consented to sex with Emmanuel Bile, Justin King or Caleb Womack. Each time the woman answered, “No.”

Suhl then asked whether the woman consented to sex with Adam Liccardi, who is currently on trial after being charged with four counts of rape and is accused of raping the woman again after the other three men left.

Again, the woman said, “No.”

It was the final question Suhl asked the woman, and the prosecution rested its case approximately 30 minutes later after calling one additional witness. Liccardi’s lawyer, Alfred Chamberland, called three witnesses to the stand, and court adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Chamberland is expected to call Liccardi to the stand Monday, which will be the fifth day of the trial. He’s expected to be the final witness. Liccardi is the third of the four men to be tried in this case, as Bile and King were already convicted.

The woman was the first witness to take the stand Friday and, at times, answered questions through tears. At one point, judge Richard Carey asked her to try to raise her voice so she could be heard by all 13 jurors.

Suhl asked the woman to recount her night on Oct. 12, 2012 and built a timeline throughout the testimony.  The woman said she drank multiple types of liquor that night, and played “beer pong” at a party in another room on her Pierpont Hall floor.

She said as the night progressed, it became harder to walk, and she was aware that she was intoxicated.

“I think I remember less and less after I left the quad,” she said.

At some point in the night, the woman received a text message from Bile saying the four men had arrived at her dorm, despite the woman previously telling them not to visit her at UMass, according to her testimony. She said she returned to her room to find all four men “standing” in there.

Her friends Karyssa Youngs and Jessica Russo, who both testified during the trial, joined the woman and four men in the woman’s room. She said they all smoked marijuana later in the night, which made her head “clouded.”

Once Youngs and Russo left, one of the men shut the lights off and three other surrounded her and took her clothes off, the woman said.

She then said all four men started to “penetrate” her, sometimes simultaneously.

“They had been arguing about who would go next,” she said.

The woman estimated this lasted for about an hour. She said she faded in and out of consciousness, saying she remembered waking up sometimes.

“My head knew what was going on, but I still couldn’t move my body,” she said.

She said that once after waking up, she “was able to start crying.” She said the men didn’t stop until her crying got louder, which caused Bile, King and Womack to leave.

Liccardi stayed behind, according to the woman.

“I had still been crying and he came over and said I was beautiful and I didn’t deserve it,” she said, and added that he said he was sorry.

She fell asleep and awoke later to find Liccardi raping her, she said.

Chamberland questioned the woman’s memory, repeatedly asking her whether she had difficulty walking around her dorm throughout the night. At one point, he asked whether she had difficulties navigating from the fourth floor of her building to the first floor. She said she didn’t believe so, but couldn’t remember for certain.

He also asked why the woman never included her statements to police that Liccardi tried to console her, and never told the nurse who examined her at the hospital that the woman woke up to find Liccardi “having intercourse” with her.

The woman said she couldn’t recall the details, but added she thought Liccardi “was there to help.”

Chamberland also questioned specific text messages the woman sent to Bile on Oct. 13. In the texts, the woman demanded the four men pay her $500, or else she would go to the police.

UMass police officer Jessie Liptak, who has testified in the trial twice, said the woman told her she did it as a “safety tactic to keep the men away from her.” The woman also mentioned in a text to Bile that she needed $65 to purchase Plan B, which is an emergency contraceptive.

Chamberland asked her, “What were you planning to do with the other $435?”

The woman said she anticipated needing it to pay for medical care – she reported finding blood the morning after –and that she didn’t want her parents to find out. Chamberland countered by asking whether she knew, as a UMass student, she was required to have health insurance.

The woman said she did not.

The woman said she decided to contact the police on Oct. 14 after Youngs and Russo showed her Twitter posts from some of the men, which referenced the incident.

“It showed how little they cared,” she said.

The trial is expected to resume Monday at 9 a.m. at Hampshire Superior Court. Closing arguments are expected to conclude Monday, and jury deliberations will immediately follow.

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.

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