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'Hofstra defense' in Mastic teen rape

October 21, 2009 4:04:37 PM PDT
There are disturbing charges of rape on Long Island. The accused rapists are all teenagers. The victim is a 14-year-old-girl.

Police say the girl was raped by three boys.

Friends of the victim tell Eyewitness News the 14-year-old girl thought she was meeting up with a male friend at the house but was confronted by him and two others. The three boys are 15, 16, and 18-years-old.

"My client was arrested about an hour after the alleged incident, clearly in my opinion it was not fully investigated," said Huntington attorney Chris Cassar.

Cassar represents 18-year-old Tyquan Dawson, who denies any involvement at all in the incident.

Casser says one other defendant told police the sex was consensual, so authorities don't really know what happened.

"It's important that they take their time, investigate the case, learn from Hofstra University," he adds.

You could call it the Hofstra defense, referring, of course, to the fury at Hofstra University last month when a female student said she'd been gang raped by four men, though she later admitted she'd been a willing participant all along.

"We knew when Hofstra happened that there would be longstanding consequences," said Alyson Ryan, with Victims Info Bureau of Suffolk County.

It's no surprise to Ryan that Hofstra has popped up as a defense argument in another case. In fact, she says the Hofstra hoax has done a major disservice to victims of sex crimes, many of whom already feel they have no place to turn.

"One out of seven are raped in their lifetime and that doesn't get front page coverage, so it just seems like we're still very quick to blame the victim to judge the victim and make it hard for them to come forward," Ryan said.

Web Produced By: Scott Curkin

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