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Therapy, community service for Hofstra accuser

September 25, 2009 4:53:38 PM PDT
The woman who accused five men of rape at Hofstra University must attend therapy and engage in 250 hours of community service or she will be charged with a crime, the Nassau County District Attorney said. The agreement ends a nearly two-week investigation that began in the early morning hours of September 13 when 18-year-old Hofstra freshman Danmell Ndonye accused five men of raping her in a campus dormitory bathroom.

Within days after the arrest of four men, Ndonye admitted to prosecutors that the events in the bathroom were consensual and that she had lied to police.

Following the recantation, the DA's Office immediately requested that a judge release the incarcerated men and that the charges filed against them be dropped and the men released.

In the agreement signed late Friday, the accuser admits to lying to police and to engaging in consensual sexual activity with four men in the dormitory bathroom. Ndonye also agrees to an intensive and monitored year-long psychiatric program and 250 hours of community service. The girl also stated that she did not engage in any sexual activity with a fifth man, former defendant and Hofstra student Rondell Bedward.

Had Ndonye been arrested and charged with a crime, she would have only faced a misdemeanor charge without the requirement of mental health treatment or community service. Because of her age and lack of criminal record, a conviction in this case would have been automatically sealed and expunged from her record pursuant to the state's Youthful Offender law.

"There exists no perfect solution to this case, only our best attempt at holding her accountable while encouraging real victims to come forward and accusers to tell the truth so that we can avoid incarcerating an innocent person for even one minute," said District Attorney Kathleen Rice. "This agreement is the only way we guarantee that this woman gets the help that she needs and is held publicly accountable for what she's done to our community."

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