By Harry Kane
Three Somerville soccer players have been charged with sexually assaulting several boys at a sports camp in the Berkshires on Sunday, August 25. The juniors from Somerville High School allegedly raped one male freshman soccer player with a broomstick in their cabin at Camp Lenox in Otis.
Detectives from the Massachusetts State Police arrested the assailants after learning of the atrocity. The identities of two accused students remains unknown – they are 16-year-old juveniles – but the third suspect’s name was released by the Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield.
Galileo Mondol, 17, is charged with string of felonies: One count of aggravated rape of a child under 16, two counts of assault with attempt to rape a child under 16, one count of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained 14 years of age and three counts of assault and battery and intimidation of a witness or other person.
Mondol was arraigned in Pittsfield Tuesday morning, and remanded to the Berkshire County Jail with a $1 million surety bond or a $100,000 cash bail. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The suspect will be held behind bars pending a dangerousness hearing set for Friday. The two minors have been arraigned at Berkshire Juvenile Court on similar charges.
William Korman, defense attorney for Mondol, stated that his client is innocent of the charges. “The victim specifically says that my client was the one that tried to stop the other boys from assaulting them.”
The trio allegedly entered a cabin housing freshman students and sexually assaulted three underclassmen with the intent to rape them with a broomstick. Two of the victims were able to thwart that intention, but one was not so lucky.
In a prepared statement following the incident, Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said, “I want to extend my appreciation to the Somerville school authorities and coaches, who acted quickly and appropriately when they became aware of these allegations.”
On Aug. 27, Somerville’s Athletic Department alerted law enforcement authorities of the incident after unearthing the shocking news. Several days later, on Aug. 30, Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone held a press conference to condemn the actions of the assailants.
“We are disturbed, appalled and saddened that they may have happened,” Curtatone said at Friday’s press conference. “Be clear on this, these allegations go far beyond hazing. This is rape.”
Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi expressed his remorse for the victims and his uneasiness over the molestation charges facing the junior varsity trio. “All of us, frankly, are horrified at these allegations,” Pierantozzi said.
Of the 161 students that attended the annual fall team-building camp, 61 male soccer players participated, according to Pierantozzi. Nineteen adult supervisors chaperoned during the weekend event.
A section of a joint statement issued by the Mayor and Superintendent, reads, “We are disturbed and appalled that these crimes may have taken place and our thoughts and concerns are with the victims and their families.”
“Our student-athletes are taught to be leaders in our community and they represent the highest and best values that our school and community hold,” the statement said.