Teens plead not guilty in UMass student rape case


NORTHAMPTON -- Four teens suspected of raping a University of Massachusetts student in her dorm room in October each pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual assault on Monday in Hampshire Superior Court.

Eighteen-year-olds Emmanuel T. Bile, Adam T. Liccardi, Justin A. King and 17-year-old Caleb M. Womack were indicted last week by a grand jury.

Liccardi, who allegedly stayed behind after the three other teens left and raped the student again, is facing a fourth charge of aggravated sexual assault.

All four were released Monday on the conditions they had been assigned and on the bail amounts they had previously paid when they were initially arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court.

Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl asked Judge Mary Lou Rup that all the bail amounts and the conditions of release set in district court be continued to the superior court level.

Supervision for Bile, King and Liccardi, all from Pittsfield, will be handled in Berkshire County, while Womack, who recently moved to Windsor Locks, Conn., will be supervised by Hampden County, according to court documents. None is a UMass student.

Each is scheduled to appear in court again on March 19 for a pre-trial hearing.

The charges stem from an Oct. 13 incident in which the alleged victim, who lived in the Mildred Pierpont House dormitory, returned to her room to find the four teenagers waiting inside. The alleged victim told police she knew the four teens through a mutual friend, but didn't invite them to the campus.

To gain access to a UMass dormitory past 8 p.m., a visitor has to check in with the person working the front desk, provide picture identification and be signed in by a student living in that dorm.

UMass Police said three of the four were signed into the dorm by an unnamed student, but it's still unclear how the fourth gained access.

The alleged assault has prompted a full review of UMass security measures.

The alleged victim told police she returned to her room intoxicated with two friends and, after discovering the four teens in her room, agreed they could stay.

According to the police report, she said the seven of them drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, which one of the Pittsfield teens allegedly had brought, for about two hours.

The student's two friends left, and shortly afterward, one of the teens turned off the lights. Then one of the teens "attacked her on her bed and began ripping her clothes off," the police report states.

She told police that despite her intoxication and going in and out of consciousness throughout the two-hour assault, she was able to identify each of the teens who assaulted her.

"This only came to an end when she was alert enough to form words and was crying in pain for them to stop," the UMass Police report states.

Bile, King and Womack left the room, but Liccardi stayed behind and tried to comfort the student before he allegedly sexually assaulted her again, the report states.

Attorneys for the defendants have maintained their clients' innocence, stating any sexual interaction between the teens and the student was consensual.

During the initial hearings prosecutors pointed to several text messages between Bile and the student where he allegedly apologized to her for what happened.

The student stated she wouldn't go to the police if each of them paid her $500, according to court documents.

As part of their conditions of release, the four teens aren't allowed near the UMass campus.

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