Update: Somerville teen charged in assaults at sports camp held pending hearing
PITTSFIELD -- A 17-year-old Somerville High School soccer player on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to 10 charges, including aggravated rape, in connection with an alleged sexual assault at Camp Lenox in Otis last month.
District Court Judge Philip Beattie upheld bail for Galileo Mondol of Somerville at $100,000 cash, $1 million surety bond, and continued the case until Friday for a dangerousness hearing. If the court determines that Mondol is a danger to the community, he can be held for up to 90 days without the right to bail.
Mondol and two 16-year-old male juveniles, all juniors at Somerville High School, are accused of assaulting three freshmen on Aug. 25.
The allegations have shaken the Boston suburb of Somerville, including Mayor Joe Curtatone, a volunteer football coach at the camp. Somerville High was holding a team-building retreat at the camp for the soccer and football teams. The defendants and accusers all play soccer.
On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Rachel Eramo said one of the freshmen was sexually assaulted with a broomstick, while the two others were able to ward off the attack. All documents related to the case have been impounded.
The three defendants were arrested on Friday. Information on the arraignments of the two 16-year-olds was unavailable on Tuesday. By state law, information regarding juvenile court proceedings is closed to the public.
Eramo sought high bail for Mondol based on the seriousness of the allegations, his lack of ties to Berkshire County, and the potential penalties he faces. Several of the charges filed against Mondol contain a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison.
But following the court proceedings, Mondol's attorney, William Korman of Boston, characterized the court's decision to set high bail for his client as "absurd" and "punitive," because his client has no previous criminal record or prior disciplinary issues. One of the victims also told investigators that Mondol was not involved in the attack, Korman said.
"The district attorney's office wants its pound of flesh here," Korman said outside the courthouse.
Through spokesman Frederick A. Lantz, Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless declined comment.
Mondol's parents attended their son's arraignment, but declined to speak with the media.
According to Eramo, the Somerville High School soccer and football team-building camp was held Aug. 23-26. Several cabins were rented by the school and players were divided into grades, with juniors and seniors occupying the same quarters.
Eramo said Mondol and the two co-defendants went to a cabin where freshmen were staying to "pick someone." After three boys were chosen, the defendants sexually assaulted one with the broomstick, she said.
The two other boys fought off the attacks, she said.
Mondol was not involved at first but joined in, according to Eramo.
Following the incident, Eramo said Mondol told the boys that they "better keep their mouths shut."
Korman disputed Eramo's reading of the police report, and asked the court to set a "modest" amount of cash bail for his client. Seeking high bail for his Mondol was "absurd under the circumstances," he said.
"My client didn't do anything there," he said. "He was at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Mondol is also charged with three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, three counts of intimidation of a witness, two counts of assault with intent to rape a child under the age of 16, and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained 14 years of age.
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