Last week, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice announced that the Hofstra student who falsely accused five men of gang raping her in a dorm bathroom would not face criminal charges. Instead, 18-year-old Danmell Ndonye, who is now suspended from the school, later admitted that she had consensual sex with four of the men and agreed to undergo mental health counseling andperform 250 hours of community service. Now, lawyers for two of the falsely accused have differing opinions about Ndonye's "punishment."
Newsday spoke to Victor Daly-Rivera, who represents Kevin Taveras, who was briefly jailed. Daly-Rivera said, "We feel that the law was broken and she should be made to answer for that. People are prosecuted all the time for filing false insurance claims and things like that... When you compare that to accusing four men of rape, it sort of pales by comparison." But Jon Silveri said his client, Stalin Felipe, "trusted the judgment" of the Nassau DA's office; Silveri added, "This is an example of how you can't rush to judgment. Hopefully people will remember this."
Based on Ndonye's made-up story, four of the five men were arrested and jailed for a few days; the fifth "suspect" had videotaped the encounter and that video freed them. Daly-Rivera said that it didn't seem like there was a civil case. And the lack of charges is becoming an election issue-Joy Watson, who is running against Rice, told Newsday she would prosecute Ndonye, "If the system is going to say, 'You're troubled, so you're not going to get charged,' what kind of reverberations does that send through the entire judicial system?"