Charges against a group of five teens accused of gang-raping an 18-year-old girl at a park in Brooklyn have been dropped after the girl says she had consensual sex with the boys and her father.
The girl, who remains unnamed, retracted her allegations against 17-year-olds Travis Beckford and Onandi Brown, 15-year-olds Ethan Phillip and Shaquell Cooper, and 14-year-old Denzel Murray. The retraction was announced on February 24 by Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.
“Working closely with the NYPD, my office has thoroughly investigated disturbing and very serious allegations of a gang rape at gunpoint last month inside the Osborn Playground in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn,” Thompson’s statement read. “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.”
Thompson’s statement continue to say that the girl recanted her allegations of the sexual assault and the presence of a gun during the alleged incident. The statement says the teen “does not wish to pursue criminal charges against any of the defendants.”
The girl initially claimed that she was drinking with her father at the playground at around 9pm on January 7 when the five boys approached them. She told investigators the the boys ordered her father to leave. He then allegedly threw bottles at the teens before one pulled out a gun and told him to leave the park.
Police Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that the girl’s report seemed very credible at the time, saying, “she had physical injuries at the time” and that she was “traumatized.”
Two of the teens reportedly admitted to police at the time that they had sex with the girl, but insisted it was consensual. They added that she was having sex with her father when they arrived at the park.
According to relatives of one suspect, one of the boys recorded cellphone video which captured the girl with her pants down, standing near her father, the New York Post reports.
The teens were arrested in January and charged as adults with one count of rape, one count of sex abuse, and two counts of criminal sex act against each of them.
The girl’s father denied all allegations of incest made against him by the teens, saying, “They’re just trying to get out of the thing they did.”
“I want them to rot in jail,” the unnamed father told the New York Post.
Investigators say an extensive search for witnesses yielded no results, though security footage from a nearby middle school showed distant figures entering the park.