State seeks DNA from three suspects in UMass rape
Emmanuel Bile, from left, Caleb Womack and Adam Liccardi leave the courtroom after their arraignments Monday in Hampshire Superior Court. Purchase photo reprints »
Justin King awaits his arraignment Monday in Hampshire Superior Court. Purchase photo reprints »
Prosecutors are seeking DNA samples from three of the four suspects of an alleged gang rape at the University of Massachusetts in October. They are Caleb Womack, far left, Emmanuel Bile, second from left, and Adam Liccardi, second from right, who are seen with their attorneys during their arraignments in December in Hampshire Superior Court. Purchase photo reprints »
NORTHAMPTON — Prosecutors filed a motion in Hampshire Superior Court Tuesday seeking DNA samples from three of the four suspects in the alleged gang rape of a UMass freshman in her dorm room in October.
Samples are being sought from Adam Liccardi, 18, Caleb Womack, 18, and Emmanuel Bile, 19, each of whom has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated rape in connection with the alleged incident. The hearing on the motion to collect the DNA samples was set by Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder for April 10.
The fourth suspect, Justin King, 19, voluntarily submitted a DNA sample at the time of his arrest, according to Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl, who is prosecuting all four cases.
King also pleaded not guilty. All four men are free on bail.
According to prosecutors and court records, the defendants, none of whom is a UMass student, arrived at campus and bypassed dorm security to gain access to the alleged victim’s room when she was not there. When she returned, she agreed to socialize with the defendants and two other female friends, drinking vodka and smoking marijuana with them, according to court files. Prosecutors say the rapes occurred after the woman’s friends left her alone with the defendants.
Each of the men faces three counts of aggravated rape. Liccardi faces a fourth for allegedly returning to the woman’s room and raping her again after the others had left.
On Tuesday, Suhl said she could not comment whether the alleged victim was still attending classes at UMass.
The allegations prompted the university to hire Business Protection Specialists Inc. of Canandaigua, N.Y., to study safety protocols and equipment at the university’s six residence hall areas, as well as how the safeguards are applied by students, residence hall security and other members of the campus community.
A pre-trial hearing in the case was set for May 2.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com.