SHS trio charged with sexual assault

On September 4, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

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The shocking events involving soccer players from Somerville High School have stunned the city.

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.

 

14 Responses to “SHS trio charged with sexual assault”

  1. Matt says:

    I hope our communities outrage is translated to providing support, and privacy to the victims of this assault. Detailing out what happened serves as nothing more than provocative, sensationalization of the assault of a child.

  2. disagree says:

    I disagree. details are disturbing, but necessary. obviously, victims need privacy, but people need to understand the complete depravity of this attack.

  3. curious says:

    The 17 year old suspect that was arrest in this alleged attack lives in Cambridge. Why is he attending Somerville High School?

  4. disagree says:

    the news said he was arrested at his home, and showed him coming out of Brickbottom on Fitchburg Street. Did they get it wrong?

  5. Curious too says:

    Who paid for the 180 participants and coaches that attended? I know the answer will not appear in this paper . Unless Mayor approves it. How can incoming freshman who hasn’t even started HS go to a team camp ? Poor planning and lack of oversight, this was an awful event and set Somervilles reputation back years .

  6. Assume says:

    “How can incoming freshman who hasn’t even started HS go to a team camp ?”

    I assume the school has an enrollment period that ends at some point over the summer. Enrollment=eligibility to attend the camp.

  7. Curious Too says:

    you must ASSUME all kids make the team they “try out” for ?

  8. disagree says:

    school enrollment includes info on team tryouts.

  9. Anna says:

    I see 3 issues here, outside of the alleged assault. First is the fact that incoming freshmen are not technically SHS students yet. Why are we paying for them to attend a summer camp? Second, they are part of a ‘team’ that has not yet held tryouts, and they haven’t yet spent a day at SHS. MIAA rules state you are not allowed to pratice with your coach in the off-season. How is it the coaches (including the mayor) are running this camp? Third, why are we paying for a summer camp for football and soccer players only? The mayor needs to address these issues because they will eventually blow up in his face, probably when someone fills a civil suit against the city. There are many questions to be answered about this camp, and the fact that the city created it, basically requires the kids to attend, and thereby set up the scenario by which this alleged incident was possible. Could it have happened anyway, anywhere? Certainly, but then it would not be happening on the city’s dime.

  10. A.Moore says:

    I would like to know who was supposed to be watching these kids. Having worked as a youth counselor many years ago we were made not to let the kids out of our sights. Not that they won’t try to. I hope these kids stand a chsnce of being saved and getting back to normal on both sides. I don;t know how one can recover from this.

  11. SomeGirl says:

    Who says “We” are paying for the football/soccer camp? Maybe the money comes from a grant. Tryouts and clinics for fall sports are held a week or two before school starts, as the games begin when school starts.

  12. Correcting some facts... says:

    I’ll answer some questions that you people (Anna, A. Moore, Curious Too) have been asking, since my son is attending Somerville High as a freshman, is playing a sport, and attended the camp. (He was not involved in anything that happened.) 1. The families paid to attend the camp. Each child was given a book of raffle tickets to sell. If every ticket was sold, you would get between 100 and 150 dollars. That is more than enough to cover everyone. 2. Because there are multiple levels for the soccer and football teams (freshman, jv, varsity) I believe that every freshman that signed up gets to play. Whether or not that continues as they get to the higher levels, I’m not sure of. 3. As far as “Being let out of their sight,” these kids were 14 to 18 years old. From the accounts, this happened when the kids went back to the cabins for a short time. Unless there were 161 adults, 1 for each of the kids, it’s hard to keep your eye on everyone at every second. I’m sure that everyone would let their 14 year old go to the bathroom by his or herself if you were out to dinner with them. If something were to happen in that public bathroom, does that mean you were negligent? That you’re at fault? The blame (so far) falls mainly on the deviants that carried out these attacks. Could that change? Sure, as more facts come out. But for now, that’s how things lay. What happened was a horrible, horrible incident. I was literally sick to my stomach when I found out.

  13. Another parent says:

    Thank you, CorrectingSomeFacts. You have the facts right. I’m also a parent of a player who was there and not involved in this terrible assault. Everyone gets put on a team; the pre-season camp is part of the process of getting each player on the team at the right level (frosh, JV, Varsity). MIAA rules are very strict about when the teams can be formed and begin practice. This pre-season camp falls within the rules. Before this year, the camp has been one of my child’s absolute best experiences in high school. The 3 young men who did this unthinkable crime plus betrayed their team mates, have severely traumatized the victims, emotionally torn up all the kids who were at camp, and ruined the past memories for all. I hope that all 3, regardless of age, are held accountable to the full extent of law, and that they understand what a horrible thing they did. I hope the victims and all the other players and coaches find peace and support.

  14. Boston Kate says:

    “the news said he was arrested at his home, and showed him coming out of Brickbottom on Fitchburg Street. Did they get it wrong?”

    If you go into the City’s Assessor’s Database, you’ll find that there is a condo/apt in the name of Mondol, on Fitchburg Street.

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