Prosecutors say Somerville High School teens were assaulted with broomstick; one suspect held for dangerousness hearing
PITTSFIELD — Galileo Mondol looked on while a 16-year-old Somerville High School student used a broomstick to rape a freshman boy who was participating in a preseason program for the school’s athletes in Western Massachusetts, a prosecutor said today.
The 17-year-old Mondol is a danger who must be jailed while awaiting trial, Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Rachel Eramo argued as she provided new details about a case that has shocked the city.
Eramo sought, and Central Berkshire District Court Judge Philip A. Beattie granted, a dangerousness hearing for Mondol, which is now set for Friday. Until then, Mondol will remain jailed on $100,000 cash bail.
In asking for the detention hearing, Eramo summarized Mondol’s alleged role in the sexual assault that took place over the weekend of Aug. 24-25 at Camp Lenox in Otis, where some 165 Somerville students, along with 20 adult supervisors, were participating in the preseason program.
Eramo said Mondol and two 16-year-old teammates forced their way into a cabin occupied by freshmen and started saying, “We’re going to pick someone. It’s going to be you. It’s going to be you,” as they pointed at individuals in the room.
Then, one of the 16-year-old boys grabbed a broom, forced a freshman onto the floor on his hands and knees and raped him with the broom, Eramo said. Citing information provided by victims and witnesses, she said Mondol told his two accomplices to stop, but once the assault was underway, he changed his mind.
“I want to have a crack at that,’’ Mondol allegedly said, according to Eramo. “If you do it again, I will lift up the broomstick,’’ Mondol also allegedly said.
Eramo said witnesses described the victim crying and bleeding in the bathroom after the alleged attack. She said State Police later recovered a blood-stained tissue from the cabin and discovered a brown stain, believed to be blood, in the cabin’s bathroom.
Mondol and the two 16-year-olds then assaulted two more freshman, but they managed to fight off the attacks and were not raped, but were poked with the broomstick in their buttocks, Eramo said.
According to Eramo, as Mondol and his two juvenile codefendants were about to leave the cabin, a freshman who witnessed the alleged assault said he would tell someone what had happened.
Eramo said Mondol looked the freshman in the eye with a serious expression and said, “you better keep your mouth shut.”
Mondol and his codefendants continued their efforts to keep the freshmen quiet after leaving the camp, Eramo said, including intimidating Facebook and Twitter messages.
Mondol’s defense attorney, William Korman, told the judge that his client was in “the wrong place at the wrong’’ time and actively tried to end the assaults. He asked for $10,000 cash bail, which the judge rejected in favor of the prosecution's request for a dangerousness hearing.
Mondol, whose parents were in court today, did not show any obvious emotion during the court proceeding.
Korman said that while Mondol should not have been in the cabin, the teen did not actively participate in the attacks. He also said the two juvenile codefendants corroborated the primary victim’s statement that Mondol did not participate in the attack.
“The victim himself says the defendant had nothing to do with it,” Korman told the judge. “This boy was telling the others to stop, to not do it.’’
In asking for bail, Korman cited Mondol’s “stellar” behavioral, academic, and athletic record in saying the prosecution’s request for a dangerousness hearing “simply makes no sense.”
Korman told reporters after the hearing that Mondol will be exonerated.
“My client is being confined because the district attorney’s office has determined that they want their pound of flesh now, just in case they can’t prove their case later,” Korman said. “And they will not be able to prove their case later.”
Mondol pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated rape of a child under the age of 16, two counts of assault with intent to rape a child under 16, one count of indecent assault and battery, three counts of assault and battery, and three counts of witness intimidation.
The 16-year-olds are to be arraigned in Berkshire Juvenile Court on similar charges, according to Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless’s office. Because of their age, prosecutors would not release their names or confirm when they will appear in court.
Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.Dan Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter at @DanielAdams86.