Sunday, September 20, 2009

How Technology Can Save You and Punish You: Hofstra Gang Rape Case

Five men went to a party at Hofstra earlier this month to have a good time. Their lives are changed forever after a student accuses them of rape. Four of them were arrested immediately while police looked for the Fifth. What they found when they located the last suspect was that he had recorded the sexual act between himself and the girl on his cell phone. The police judged the act to be consensual and released the other suspects. One of the suspects, Kevin Tavares, said this about what he thought was going to happen to him before the video came to light:

"It wasn't looking good for us...A lonely girl and five kids...Whose side would you take? You would take the girl's side."

The girl, Danmell Ndonye, only recanted her story of rape after she was told of the cell phone video. It's being reported that she made up the story so that her new boyfriend didn't think she was a slut.

When Tavares returned home, he received a letter from his employer, Cablevision telling him he was terminated. He wonders how he will face his future now that he has been branded an accused-rapist. He doesn't just mean just on his record or what people say about him, he means online. One of the other accused boys, 19 year old Stalin Felipe, said this:

"Anytime anyone Googles my name, rape is going to be right there beside it. My name is forever tarnished. What if I am applying for a job or whatever in the future? I feel like I am always going to have to offer some explanation."

They are thankful for Technology for keeping them out of jail for the next 25 years, but are now also suffering from it now that they are free.

Watch this news story from AP, and listen at 0:51 at how the DA, Kathleen Rice, describes the turning point in the case:

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