Student investigated for gang rape hoax

September 17, 2009 8:31:23 AM PDT
A prosecutor is considering criminal charges against a Hofstra University freshman who has recanted her claims that she was gang-raped by five men in a dormitory bathroom. The 18-year-old woman, who has not been identified, told members of Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office on Wednesday night that "the encounter that took place early Sunday morning was consensual."

Rice immediately got a judge to release four of the men from the Nassau County Jail. A fifth man was still being sought when the hoax was revealed.

"It's crazy, the system is supposed to prevent these things from happening," said Kevin Tavares, one of the vindicated men standing outside the jail late Wednesday night.

"It's supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent," he added. "Inside I thought I was going to do a bit for something I didn't do."

Only one of the men, Rondell Bedward, 21, is a Hofstra student. He declined comment after he was released.

Rice said in a statement that after the woman changed her story, her office began investigating possible charges against the woman for making a false statement to police.

The woman first told police she was lured to the dormitory and raped after her cell phone was stolen by a man she'd met at a dance party. She said she was bound with rope while the five men took turns sexually assaulting her in a men's bathroom stall.

On campus, students were shaking their heads at the latest twist in the case.

"It's definitely a shock," said Megan Michler, a junior from Penargyl, Pa. " I guess she completely lied about it and it's not fair to the guys that were involved. Everyone was shaken up by the whole thing and now we were shaken up for nothing."

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