Somerville teen charged in sex assault case freed on $100,000 bail
PITTSFIELD -- A Somerville teen accused with two others of raping a student with a broomstick at an Otis sports camp has been freed on $100,000 bail.
According to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo, Galileo Mondol, 17, and two 16-year-olds allegedly sexually assaulted three freshmen boys on Aug. 25 at Camp Lenox in Otis. The three juniors on Somerville High School's junior varsity boys' soccer team and were attending a four-day, team-building retreat.
Mondol has pleaded not guilty to single counts of aggravated rape of a child under 16 and indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, along with multiple counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, witness intimidation and assault with intent to rape a child under 16.
In a hearing on Friday, a district judge rules that Mondol did not pose a danger to the public and would be able to post bail, which was done later in the day.
Information on the cases against the 16-year-olds isn't publicly available.
Friday in court, Eramo asked Judge Fredric D. Rutberg to hold Mondol without bail for 90 days, citing the nature of the alleged crimes, which she called "disturbing," and the fact that they were perpetrated in front of a group of other teens. She said Mondol and his codefendants caused physical as well as emotional harm to the victims and witnesses.
The three alleged attackers went into the cabin where the freshman were staying, chose three boys and used a broomstick to sexually assault one of them and attempted to sexually assault the other two who were able to fight off their attackers, she told the court. One of the other alleged victims was fondled, according to the prosecutor.
Eramo said that all three of the defendants laughed about it afterward, but when they realized they had hurt the younger boy they attempted to apologize.
When the older teens left the cabin, Mondol told the freshman that "they better not say anything," Eramo told the court.
Five of six people -- three alleged victims and three other witnesses -- who were there during the attack said Mondol was involved "in some way" with the rape of one victim and the attempted rapes of two others, according to the prosecutor.
She admitted the witness statements didn't match up "exactly," but said this was to be expected in a situation involving multiple witnesses.
Mondol's attorney, William Korman, told the court only one of the witnesses said his client had the broomstick and that the boy wasn't a reliable witness because he was scared and went back and forth from the bathroom during the alleged assault. According to the attorney, the alleged rape victim said Mondol wasn't involved and had tried to dissuade the other two 16-year olds from continuing the attack. The attorney said Mondol's codefendants also denied his client was involved.
Korman said Mondol was "barely 17," had no previous criminal history or disciplinary problems.
Rutberg said the prosecutor hadn't sustained her burden to show there were less restrictive measures to ensure the public's safety and added that he didn't think the burden had been met to show Mondol was dangerous.
The judge, however, ordered that if Mondol makes bail he must withdraw from Somerville High School, have no contact with the alleged victims or witnesses, abide by an 11 p.m. curfew and surrender his passport.
According to Korman, Mondol has already been banned from attending any Somerville High School athletic events and was in the process of being expelled.
After the hearing, Korman said his client wasn't "the face of hazing in 2013," but rather the victim of "overzealous prosecution."
He said Mondol was "very mature" and understood the seriousness of the crimes he's facing, but that Mondol "takes comfort knowing he is completely innocent."
According to the attorney, the prosecution's case is weak, the request for a dangerousness hearing was "practically absurd" and his client's bail -- $100,000 -- is excessively high.
A pretrial hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 3.
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