Whoa: The Hofstra student who claimed five men had gang raped her in a dormitory bathroom stall—resulting in four suspects being arrested and a manhunt for the fifth—apparently lied about the story. Newsday reports, "After hearing the news, prosecutors convened a late night court hearing at First District Court in Hempstead where Judge Robert Bruno signed an order dismissing the charges against the four men in the case."

Yesterday, the Nassau County police revealed harrowing details of the alleged rape—that the 18-year-old was lured from an on-campus party because one man had stolen her cell phone and lured her to a dorm where he and his friends tied her up in a bathroom stall and assaulted her. Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice said, "The alleged victim of the sexual assault admitted that the encounter that took place early Sunday morning was consensual. I have launched an immediate criminal investigation into the statements and reports given by the woman in connection with this incident." The student has been identified as Danmell Ndonye.

The four men— Bronx residents Rondell Bedward, 21, Stalin Felipe, 19, and Jesus L. Ortiz, 19, and Brentwood resident Kevin R. Taveras—had been all charged with five counts of first-degree rape and were being held on $350,000 bail each. Newsday has a photograph of the four men looking very relieved after being released.

Felipe spoke to WCBS 2 after his release:

"I'm actually very happy that the truth finally came out. I'm blessed. My family is here right now to pick us up and I'd just like to thank everybody for your support out there. The truth is finally out. I prayed to God on the inside that everything would work out. I actually thought everything was going to go down bad. It feels so horrible when you are innocent and then you are going down like you are guilty.

"Basically I have no hard feelings toward her. I don't know why she did it. I don't know her so I don't want to say anything bad about her. I grew up in an all-women household. I have sisters. All my women are aunts. I respect women. I would never disrespect women, so being accused of that hurt me and my brother, you know? I'm just happy that everything is finally out in the open and we get to go home."


On the Hofstra website, the administration writes, "To Members of the Hofstra Community, We have been notified by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office that the young woman involved in the alleged rape incident has recanted her claims against the five young men. This week has been a very difficult one for our entire community, and we will need time to heal and understand the events of the last few days. As additional information becomes available we will post it on the University home page."