A Brooklyn judge on Thursday ordered the release of five teens accused of raping an 18-year-old girl last week at a playground in what investigators have called an increasingly complicated case, reports the New York Daily News.
Travis Beckford, 17; Onandi Brown, 17; Ethan Phillip, 15; Shaquelle Cooper, 15, and Denzel Murray, 14, were ordered released by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino. Cooper, however, will remain in custody on a pending assault charge, the report says.
Besides other issues in the case, neither the woman nor her father could identify any of the teens in a police lineup, writes the news outlet.
District Attorney Kenneth Thompson raised no objections to the judge’s order, while defense attorneys for the suspects applauded the decision.
Reports the News:
“Because we are determined to get to the truth about what happened in that park, we need more time to investigate this complex case and gather more evidence,” Thompson said. “Therefore, we have consented to the defendants’ release.”
Phillips’ lawyer Abdula Greene commended Thompson.
“Straight out of the gate, the case wasn’t solid,” she said.
Spencer Leeds, lawyer for Brown, who had been ordered held on $25,000 bond, also applauded the move.
The New York Times reports that “prosecutors have less than a week from the time a suspect is arrested on a felony charge to obtain a grand-jury indictment. If prosecutors do not make that deadline, the suspects must be released from jail. The prosecutor then has six months to obtain an indictment.”
The case rankled residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where the incident allegedly occurred, and throughout the city. Reports initially surfaced that five men had approached the teen at Osborn Playground on Jan. 7, brandished a gun, ordered the father to leave, and then proceeded to gang rape the woman, writes The Times:
Later, the police began investigating other claims after the suspects were arrested. Among them: Some of the defendants told detectives that the father and daughter were having sex when the suspects found them.
Additionally, a brother of one of the defendants showed a reporter a cellphone video that he said was taken just before the encounter, showing the victim sitting against a playground wall and mumbling. “If you said yeah, it’s lit, like, you know what I mean,” a male voice says. “I could tell you a freak.” The defendant’s brother argued that this showed the sex was consensual.
The investigation continues.
21 Of President Barack Obama's Best Photos Of 2015
1. JANUARY: President Obama delivers the State of the Union address with the support of vice president Joe Biden. Obama gained mass support after his joke about winning both terms.Source:Getty 1 of 10
2. APRIL: President Obama arrives in Jamaica to meet with the 15-member Caribbean Community. His trip marked a first for the sitting president and second since the country's independence.Source:Getty 2 of 10
3. JUNE: President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen talking during the president's trip to the G7Summit in Bavaria, Germany.Source:Getty 3 of 10
4. JUNE: President Obama sings "Amazing Grace" during the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service. Clementa was one of the nine victims who died after suspected shooter Dylann Roof entered the AME church and opened fire.Source:Getty 4 of 10
5. SEPTEMBER: President Obama is featured on the popular show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." Obama took the trip to highlight the importance of climate control.Source:Getty 5 of 10
6. SEPTEMBER: The First Couple serve as "love goals" at the White House's state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan. Obama and Xi announced an agreement on controlling climate change and a mutual outlook on cyber security.Source:Getty 6 of 10
7. OCTOBER: President Obama meets with Ahmed Mohamed, the student who was detained by Texas police for his homemade clock. The president stood by the teen, who many believe was the victim of Islamophobia.Source:Getty 7 of 10
8. NOVEMBER: President Obama issues a warning to his critics who "pop off" at his policies towards Syrian refugees. Speaking at the OP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, Obama welcomed his Republican critics to the White House to lay down their own policies. No one has responded.Source:Getty 8 of 10
9. DECEMBER: President Obama addresses the public from the Oval Office regarding the San Bernardino shooting.Source:Getty 9 of 10
10. DECEMBER: All grown up! The First Family, including Obama's mother-in-law Marian Robinson, is seen at the White House's national Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2.Source:Getty 10 of 10
NYPD Releases 5 Teens Accused In Brooklyn Gang Rape was originally published on newsone.com