The charges filed against a group of five teenagers in an accused gang raping of an 18-year-old girl in Brooklyn, N.Y. have been dropped. The accuser has recanted her statement after a series of stories were given by her and her father that did not coincide. Initially, reports surfaced that the the young woman and her father were approached by boys at gunpoint, and the girl was forced to engage in sex with them. The girl has since admitted that there was no gun involved.
The five boys arrested – Denzel Murray, 14; Shaquell Cooper, 15; Ethan Phillip, 15; Onandi Brown, 17 and Travis Beckford, 1 – all originally stated that the sex with the girl was consensual. Brooklyn District Attorney confirmed earlier speculation that the young girl is also currently engaging in sexual conduct with her father, who allegedly sought help after the incident. She reportedly does not wish to pursue charges against him either.
“The complainant, as well as her father, provided multiple inconsistent accounts to NYPD Detectives and to experienced Special Victims prosecutors about important material facts in this case,” his statement read, according to the New York Daily News. “The complainant has recanted her allegations of forcible sexual assault and the existence of a gun, and she does not wish to pursue criminal charges against any of the defendants. She also refuses to cooperate with any prosecution against her father, who was engaging in sexual conduct with her.”
Murray’s lawyer, Ken Montgomery, commended the District Attorney’s office for handling the case fairly. He also noted that a lesson should be learned from all parties involved.
“They did what the NYPD, City Hall and so-called community leaders didn’t do, they didn’t judge these young men, and investigated what actually happened,” he said. “Now separate from the charges being dismissed there is a lesson to be learned. It is unhealthy to have sexual relations in parks even if it’s consensual. We don’t want our young men to grow up thinking this is okay, because it’s not.”