A prosecutor on Thursday was considering levying criminal charges against a Hofstra University student who claimed she was gang-raped by five men and then recanted her story.
The men accused of the crime – Rondell Bedward, Jesus Ortize, Kevin Tavera, Stalin Felipe – were immediately released from police custody Wednesday night.
According to Hofstra spokeswoman Melissa Connolly, the unidentified student has been suspended from school pending a disciplinary hearing. In addition, Connolly said that suspension for Bedward has been lifted.
Cellphone video taken of the alleged assault apparently shows the actions to be consensual. According to a lawyer for 20-year-old Kevin Taveras, the images show the 18-year-old girl had consensual sex with each of the men involved.
“It look more like a porn movie,” he said. “It showed just the opposite of what the allegations were. There was no tying up, there was no bruising, there was no screaming.”
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice released a statement Wednesday night revealing the teenage girl had recanted her story and the sex had been consensual. Rice took immediate action in order to ensure the charges against the accused men were dismissed.
“My office moved quickly to appear before a night court judge to dismiss all charges and request that the judge order the individuals’ immediate release,” she said. “I have launched an immediate criminal investigation into the statements and reports given by the woman in connection with this incident.”
The teenager initially told police she was forced her into a men’s dorm bathroom stall and tied up, while the men each took turns sexually assaulting her. Each of the men were charged with first-degree rape and held in lieu of $500,000.