Hofstra Rape Accuser Recants Tale, May Face Charges - NBC New York

Hofstra Rape Accuser Recants Tale, May Face Charges

All charges against the men she accused will be dismissed; accuser has been suspended by university

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    Hofstra Rape Accuser Recants Tale, May Face Charges
    AP
    Kevin Tavares, second from left, Stalin Felipe, center, and Rondell Bedward, right, talk to a reporter, left, after they were released from the Nassau County Jail.

    A Hofstra University student who claimed four men gang-raped her has admitted to making the story up and four of the men she falsely accused were released from custody last night after spending two days behind bars, authorities said.

    Kevin Taveras, one of the four men initially charged in the "incident," says he's happy to be breathing fresh air again.

    The 20-year-old smiled broadly outside his Brentwood home, hours after rape charges against him and three others were dropped in a headline-making case at Hofstra University.

    "It didn't look good for us," Taveras, a dispatcher for Cablevision, told NBC New York. "I thought we would do time." 

    "We Were Treated Like Animals"

    [NY] "We Were Treated Like Animals"
    One of the falsely accused describes the way he and his friends were treated by investigators.
    (Published Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009)

    Now the female student who made the allegations against the four men, including Taveras, is under investigation. A prosecutor is assessing whether she should face criminal charges in connection with the hoax. First the student charged the men with viciously attacking her; then she acknowledged the sex was consensual, according to the District Attorney's office.

    "The alleged victim of the sexual assault admitted that the encounter that took place early Sunday morning was consensual," Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. "I have launched an immediate criminal investigation into the statements and reports given by the woman in connection with this incident."

    Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and the Nassau County Police Department will hold a press conference this afternoon on developments in the rape investigation.

    Hofstra University has suspended the student who made the charges, and lifted a suspension against the one student among the five suspects.

    Rondell Bedward, Jesus Ortiz, Taveras and Stalin Felipe, were released from custody after the charges of first degree rape were dropped. The 18-year-old woman accused the men of sexually assaulting her at a campus dorm after they lured her away from a frat party by stealing her cell phone.

    She first told investigators the men tied her up and took turns raping her.  

    Taveras said he and his friends had never met the young woman before crossing paths at a party on Hofstra's campus last weekend. He wouldn't elaborate on what really happened that night, saying his lawyer advised against it.

    The vindicated man exhibited no anger when asked about the woman whose lies landed him in jail.

    "I am just glad she came forward and did the right thing," he said. "All our lives are just beginning and she could have ruined them."