4 Pittsfield teens accused of raping student at UMass-Amherst
Updates to correct spelling of Adam Liccardi's last name and includes Liccardi's and Emmanuel Bile's previous run-ins with Pittsfield authorities and includes background information.
PITTSFIELD -- Four Pittsfield teenagers are each being held on $10,000 bail after allegedly raping an 18-year-old University of Massachusetts-Amherst student in her dorm room earlier this month.
On Monday, 18-year-olds Emmanuel Bile, Justin King and Adam Liccardi and 17-year-old Caleb Womack were arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court on charges of rape and pleaded not guilty. They do not attend the university.
A Northwestern district attorney's office spokeswoman said a judge on Monday set bail at $10,000 cash for each defendant and said they must wear GPS tracking devices.
University officials told other students about the attack on Monday.
The four teenagers were arrested Friday at four separate locations in Pittsfield by UMass Police, Pittsfield Police and troopers from the state police assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
During the arraignments, Northwestern District Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Shul gave a detailed account of the alleged sexual assault, while defense attorneys claimed the female was severely intoxicated and attempted to extort money from their clients afterward.
The four teens texted the victim prior to the assault stating they wanted to stop by her room, according to the Boston Globe. The victim responded stating she didn't want them to visit; however, the four went to Amherst anyway and were signed into the on-campus dormitory by a stranger, the prosecutor said.
UMass-Amherst Police Chief John Horvath told The Eagle the names of three of the four suspects were found on the dormitory sign-in sheet on the day of the alleged attack. Horvath said neither the victim or her roommate had signed in any of them, but did say the victim knew the four teenagers. Police are looking into who signed the group into the dorm.
The four went to the student's room and discovered she wasn't there, but found the door unlocked and let themselves in to wait for her return.
When the victim returned, she agreed they could stay in her room for a while.
Citing police reports, attorneys for the defense said the woman told investigators she drank eight or nine shots of vodka, a couple of beers and smoked marijuana while the four males were in her room, the Globe reported.
The prosecutor said that at about 1 a.m., one of the men turned off the lights, the victim was stripped and raped repeatedly.
Afterward, three of the men left the room; the fourth, Liccardi, stayed behind and raped the student again, according to the Globe.
The victim sent a text message to Bile later the next day accusing him and the others of raping her, but the defense attorneys said she also demanded $500 cash from each, otherwise she was going to report them to the police.
Horvath said the victim reported the crime to campus police at about 11 p.m. on Oct. 14, and an investigation began immediately to determine if the general campus was also in danger.
He said there wasn't a danger, which is why he decided not to send out any alert about the assault until the investigation was complete.
"To maintain the integrity of the investigation, an alert was not immediately sent," he said. "It wouldn't have served any purpose."
Horvath said there didn't appear to be any damage to the victim's room and that there wasn't any sign of a struggle.
Even though the four Pittsfield teens were signed in, Horvath said this will prompt the university to "conduct a comprehensive review of security in our residence halls."
Enku Gelaye, dean of students at UMass, told reporters the incident was disturbing and that the medical center on campus and counseling center off-campus were available to any student who suffers sexual abuse.
Two of the four teens have had run-ins with authorities in Pittsfield.
Liccardi, of 75 New Hampshire Ave., was arrested in August 2011 and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a car, for allegedly running down a 34-year-old man at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Tyler Street Extension during an argument. Licccardi's trial is scheduled for February.
Bile was arrested in June 2011 for driving a car onto the baseball field at Clapp Park and tearing up the field. He was charged with trespassing. Liccardi, who also was involved, was charged with trespassing and wanton destruction of property under $200. Bile's case was dismissed at the prosecutor's request, while Liccardi paid a $250 fine and had his case continued without a finding.
Bile graduated in 2011 from Pittsfield High School. At Herberg Middle School, he made the honor roll in several semesters.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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