Tuesday 20 March 2018

Video allegedly showing moments before gang rape in Brooklyn produced in court

Video evidence is being used to argue that the sexual acts were consensual
Video evidence is being used to argue that the sexual acts were consensual
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

A smartphone video has been produced by defense lawyers in a New York City arraignment which alleges to show a verbal interaction between the suspects and victim before an alleged gang rape in Brooklyn.

Four teenagers were arraigned on first-degree rape charges on Tuesday night after a suspected gang-rape of an 18-year-old woman at Osborn Playground in Brooklyn. A fifth suspect has been arrested.

During the arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Tuesday, a 30-second video was produced by defense lawyers which they say shows a verbal interaction moments before the alleged attack.

The defence alleges that in the video, the victim can be seen lying partially clothed on the ground, laughing and smiling. A man's voice can be heard saying "she said yeah... if you said yeah, it's lit, like, you know what I mean. I could tell you a freak".

Billy Sullivan(24) claims the video was taken minutes before the alleged 'attack' by his younger brother. Two of the defendants are claiming that a number of sex acts carried out were 'consensual' between the woman and three of the defendants.

The police are "in the process" of obtaining search warrants for "some of the suspects' phones".

The defendant's lawyers say the city has "overreached", the New York Times reported, and reminded the court that none of the defendants had been identified via photo or line-up.

Detectives are investigating claims by the defendants that the woman was having sex with her father when the five suspects arrived at the playground in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

NY Chief of Dectectives, Robert K. Boyce, told assembled reporters at a City Hall news conference that the claim "came from two individuals that were arrested... that's the only place we've got that from so far".

A second, anonymous official told the New York Times that the claim "does not mean she was not the victim of a pretty horrific attack".

"What appears to have happened is that the father may have put her in that compromised position".

The Police Commissioner apologised to the community for not publicly reporting the attack sooner, after surveillance video was released on Saturday.

"There's no denying that the department should have... put some information out on Friday".

Two of the suspects were turned in by their mothers after a surveillance video from outside a nearby deli was released on Saturday.

The victim and her father claimed that a gun was used in the attack, which the police are "still searching for". Both also admit to drinking alcohol before the incident.

The woman and her father had reportedly been estranged after he lost custody of her when she was two years old.

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