Charges Dropped Against 5 Teens in Alleged NYC Park Gang Rape

Prosecutors in Brooklyn, N.Y., say a father’s claim that a group of teens took turns raping his 18-year-old daughter after accosting them in a playground was untrue.

Two of five teens who were arrested and charged with gang-raping an 18-year-old woman in Brooklyn, N.Y., in January 2016. Charges against all five have now been dropped.
Two of five teens who were arrested and charged with gang-raping an 18-year-old woman in Brooklyn, N.Y., in January 2016. Charges against all five have now been dropped. ABC 7 screenshot

Five Brooklyn, N.Y., teens accused of raping an 18-year-old woman last month at gunpoint in a New York park have had the charges against them dismissed after prosecutors say the young woman recanted her story.

In addition, prosecutors say, the story the teen boys told police when they were arrested—that the young lady’s father had been in the park having sex with his daughter—was true.

“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,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement viewed by 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,” Thompson said.

According to the Daily News, the young woman’s father told police that he and his daughter were in Osborn Playground in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood Jan. 9 when the five teen boys approached. The father told police that one of the teens pulled a gun and told him, “Get the [f–k] out of here.” The father fled and flagged down police, reporting the alleged assault. The father claimed the teens had taken turns raping his daughter.

Days later, cops arrested Denzel Murray, 14; Shaquell Cooper, 15; Ethan Phillip, 15; Onandi Brown, 17; and Travis Beckford, 17, the Daily News reports.

The teens said from the beginning that the father had been having sex with his daughter in the park when they stumbled upon them, and that the sex they had had with the daughter was consensual.

According to the Daily News, both the father and daughter failed to identify any of the first four suspects from a police lineup.

“We are thankful to the district attorney’s office for the thoughtful and prudent time they took to fully investigate this case,” Denzel Murray’s attorney, Ken Montgomery, told the Daily News.

“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.

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