UMass rape trial postponed to complete DNA testing
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — The trial of four teenagers charged with raping a University of Massachusetts student in her dorm room has been postponed so DNA testing can be completed.
The trial had been scheduled to start next month, but prosecutor Jennifer Suhl told Hampshire Superior Court Judge Bertha Josephson on Tuesday that results of DNA evidence tests are not expected until next year.
Josephson scheduled a status conference for Feb. 11 and took the case off the December trial list.
Emmanuel Bile, Justin King and Adam Liccardi, all 19 and from Pittsfield, and Caleb Womack, 18, of Windsor Locks, Conn., are charged with raping the woman in her Amherst dorm room in October 2012. None of the suspects was a UMass student, but they all knew the woman. They are free on bail after pleading not guilty. Their lawyers say the sex was consensual.
Lawyers for two of the defendants also asked the judge Tuesday to dismiss their clients’ statements to investigators.
Liccardi’s attorney said his client’s statements should be dismissed because they were made while Liccardi was in custody without a lawyer present and questioning continued after he requested a lawyer.
Bile’s lawyer said detectives made arrangements to speak to Bile alone in his living room without his parents. He also did not have a lawyer.
Both men were read Miranda warnings and voluntarily spoke to police, the prosecutor said.
The judge did not immediately rule.
The accuser, who drank alcohol and smoked marijuana with the defendants, told police she didn’t consent to sex.
The woman had told the men not to visit her, but they were allowed into the dorm by another student, which prompted the university to revamp residence hall security measures.