Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ramapo Sex Assault Arrest List Growing

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ramapo Sex Assault Arrest List Growing

Article excerpt

The scope of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault at the Ramapo College campus in Mahwah broadened Monday as three students, including an 18-year-old woman, were accused of encouraging the reported attack, and authorities said a second victim was sexually abused.

The announcement of additional charges prompted the college president, Peter P. Mercer, to issue a statement saying the new charges raised a "fundamental issue" about "personal responsibility and respect for one's fellow students" that he said were "at the core of collegiate life." He also said the college planned to have an outside group conduct an independent review of some of its policies and educational programs, and that he planned to conduct a campuswide discussion in light of the charges.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli issued a news release on Monday afternoon announcing that three students had been charged with endangering an injured victim, adding that they "aided or encouraged" two other students during an alleged assault in a dorm room following a fraternity party that took place the evening of Nov. 14. Additional charges have been filed against the two students who were arrested last week on the sexual assault charges, he said.

Jordyn Massood, an 18-year-old woman from Wayne, and two 18-year- old men from Staten Island, Justin Sommers and Christopher Rainone, were arrested on the campus "without incident" on endangerment charges, Molinelli said. Sommers and Rainone also were charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly taking photos of the victim without her consent, Molinelli said. The three students were released after being issued summonses. None could be reached for comment Monday night.

Nakeem D. Gardner, 18, of Paterson, and Christian A. Lopez, 24, of Secaucus, had been charged last week with first-degree sexual assault and other offenses. Authorities filed additional charges against both men on Monday, including a criminal sexual contact charge against Lopez for allegedly "inappropriately touching" another woman.

Molinelli said that Lopez also faced new charges related to the original sexual assault: criminal restraint, endangering an injured victim and invasion of privacy. …

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