The man who was accused of being involved in a gang rape of a Hofstra University student, only for the student to recant her claim and admit the sex was consensual because there was a video of the encounter, is on the cover of the Post today. While Arvin Rivera, an 18-year-old senior at Harry S. Truman HS in The Bronx, was not arrested, he tells the paper, "I was so afraid. Words cannot even begin to describe how I was feeling inside. Thank God I was there. And thank God I filmed it."
Rivera's cousin Stalin Felipe, 19, was arrested, along with three other men, after Hostra freshman Danmell Ndonye made up a harrowing story about being tied up and gang raped in a Hofstra dorm bathroom stall. Felipe, who is also on the Post's cover, said, "Anytime anyone Googles my name, rape is going to be right there beside it. My name is forever tarnished. What if I am applying for a job or whatever in the future? I feel like I am always going to have to offer some explanation... We went to Hofstra just to have some fun, and it turned out to be a nightmare. Cops were telling us, 'You are going to rot in jail.'"
The aunt of falsely accused Kevin Taveras told the Post that when Ndonye was split up from her boyfriend at an on-campus party, she and her nephew "started making out, and she said to him, 'Do you want to come back to my dorm?' He said, 'I have friends here with me,' and she said, 'Bring 'em along. It'll be hot.' It started from there. The point is she knew what she was doing... Stalin said to her, 'Are you sure about this?' She said, 'Yeah, sure, I want to.'"
Neighbors of Ndonye, who is now suspended from Hofstra, describe her as "nice, innocent, well-bred, shy," "genius-like," and "scary brilliant" with an "intact mother and father." Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, who may purse charges of filing a false police report against her, said of her, "Her actions and demeanor suggest a very troubled young woman in need of some help."
And Newsday dissects the "turning point" in the case—when Rivera shared the video footage with Felipe's family and lawyer: "It was just 5 minutes and 58 seconds of grainy footage from a public men's bathroom in a college dormitory... It did not show the entire incident, the attorneys acknowledge... There were sexual acts between at least two people and the young woman was consenting, those who viewed it said." Felipe's attorney said, "It was graphic. It looked like they were in the outside of a shower stall," and an attorney for Jesus Ortiz said, "There was no tying up, there was no bruising, there was no screaming... More important than what you see is what you don't see."