New York

4 of 5 Teens Charged in Brooklyn Gang Rape Case to Be Released Without Bail: DA

Four of the five teenage boys charged in the alleged gang rape of a 18-year-old woman in a Brooklyn park last week will be released from jail without bail, Brooklyn's top prosecutor said.

Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said Thursday that the teens arrested this week in connection with the alleged sex attack in Brownsville's Osborn Playground on Thursday night will be released while they continue to investigate the case before attempting to indict the suspects on rape charges. 

“Because we are determined to get to the truth about what happened in that park, we need more time to investigate this complex case and gather more evidence. So, therefore, we have consented to the defendants’ release,” Thompson said.

Thompson's office will have six months to present the case to a grand jury, and the charges against the teens will be pending until then. There are no stipulations to their release, but they'd likely be taken back into custody after a potential indictment.

Three of the teens had been released on bail earlier this week; a source close to the investigation tells NBC 4 New York that the money will be returned to them. A fourth teen being held in lieu of $25,000 bail will be released Thursday. The fifth teen will continue to be held at a city jail in connection with an October assault case.

The teens were all arrested earlier this week after a woman and her father alleged that they accosted the pair in the Park last week. One of the suspects allegedly pointed a gun at the father, told him to leave and raped his daughter after he left.

The father, who didn't have a cellphone, ran two blocks to a housing development and found two patrol officers, who returned to the park to find the woman visibly upset, with cuts and bruises, police say.

Two of the suspects surrendered to police Sunday, while another turned himself in later that day. A fourth was identified and arrested through a tip to the Crime Stoppers hotline, officials said. The fifth suspect was arrested Tuesday at school.

The teens -- one of whom is 14 years old, two of whom are 15, and two of whom are 17 -- have said that the encounter with the woman was consensual, and defense attorneys revealed the existence of a video clip that they claim shows a partially undressed woman smiling and laughing during her nighttime encounter with five teens in a public park.

They also claimed that the woman and her father were drunk, and neither could pick them out of a police lineup.

Police said Wednesday that there was strong evidence to indicate the woman had been attacked.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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