William Paterson University students charged in dorm sex assault arraigned

WAYNE, N.J. (WABC) -- Five students accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a dorm at William Paterson University were arraigned in New Jersey court Tuesday, all pleading not guilty.

Prosecutors call the incident a gang assault on a victim, who was allegedly trapped in the dorm room on the Wayne campus on Nov. 25 before the men forced her to have sex with them.

Eighteen-year-old Garrett Collick, of Paterson, has been identified as the suspected ringleader. According to reports, he was about to have sex with the woman when he told her that his friends would have to be included.

Three of those friends -- Jahmel Latimer, of Hoboken; Darius Singleton, of Jersey City; Tremaine Scott, of Vineland; and Noah Williams, of Camden; all 18 -- pleaded not guilty to charges including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and kidnapping.

The suspects all had supporters in the courtroom, and their attorneys say they are not guilty.

"He maintains his innocence," defense attorney Ronald Ricci said. "And he's confident at trial that he'll be found not guilty in this case."

The suspects had their bail lowered from $200,000 to $50,000 and were ordered not to have contact with the victim.

University President Kathleen Waldron said her deepest concern is for the woman, and that her heart goes out to the student and her family.

Students returning from the Thanksgiving break were greeted with the disturbing news.

"It's a safe campus, very much so," senior Fai Haghi said. "It was a shock to me."

Marquis Robinson and Andre Morgan are freshmen who say they know the young men accused and don't believe the charges.

"I don't believe the allegations at all," Robinson said. "They wouldn't do anything. If a girl says no, they would respect that no."

"I was just shocked," Morgan added. "Me knowing them personally, they would never do anything like that."

Others say they'll wait for the facts before passing judgement.

Right now, every freshman must take a mandatory course covering sexual violence, and some suggest that should be expanded.

"We only do it when we first get here," junior Chelsea Holman said. "I feel like we should do it every year."

All five suspects have been barred from campus.
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