Three more Ramapo College students, two men and a woman, have been charged in connection with the sexual assault of a student prosecutors say was attacked in a dorm room earlier this month.
Staten Island residents Justin Sommers and Christopher Rainone and Wayne, New Jersey, resident Jordyn Massood, all 18, were each charged with endangering an injured victim in the Nov. 15 assault, prosecutors said Monday. Sommers and Rainone were also charged with invasion of privacy.
Two other students, Christian Lopez, 24, of Secaucus, and 18-year-old Nakeem Gardner, of Paterson, were arrested two days after the assault on aggravated sexual assault and other charges. Prosecutors say they allegedly sexually assaulted the woman while Sommers and Rainone took photos; Massood did nothing to suggest the behavior was wrong, authorities say.
The woman, a commuter, contacted authorities after she woke up "in a state of undress" in a dorm room following a frat party. A subsequent investigation determined that she had been "highly intoxicated" and unable to consent to sexual activity.
In a letter to students and staff Monday, president Peter Mercer said: "I am sorry to inform you that three additional Ramapo students have been charged in connection with the incident of sexual assault that was reported last week. Their alleged offenses have to do with invasion of privacy and failure to render aid.
"These charges raise fundamental issues of personal responsibility and respect for one's fellow students that should be at the core of collegiate life. It is distressing to think that none of those who were aware of this incident at the time appear to have intervened even by reporting it anonymously. This is not who we are and does not reflect the values that we, as a College, uphold and promote through such programs as Green Dot, Take Back the Night, our Good Samaritan policy and other programs delivered to our students," the letter read.
Mercer went on to say he's looking for independent reviewers to examine the school's programs, policies and procedures on binge drinking because "it is apparent that alcohol was a factor for the accused in this case and that it contributes to unacceptable behavior particularly when it is consumed in such quantities that intervention is required."
Lopez and Gardner remain jailed in Bergen County. On Monday, prosecutors said Lopez had additionally been charged with criminal restraint, endangering an injured victim and invasion of privacy in the Nov. 15 case, as well as criminal sexual contact for allegedly inappropriately touching another female student at the college. Gardner was also additionally charged with endangering an injured victim.
Additional bail based on the new charges for Lopez and Gardner has not yet been set, prosecutors say. It's not clear if either man has an attorney. Information on attorneys for the three 18-year-olds arrested Monday was not immediately available.