BROOKLYN — Charges were dropped against five teens Wednesday who were accused of raping an 18-year-old woman in a Brownsville park, after she recanted her allegations and decided against cooperating with prosecutors, according to the District Attorney's office.
The teens were earlier accused of sexually assaulting the woman at gunpoint in Osborn Playground, where they found her and her father Jan. 7. They had allegedly scared away the father, who went to several bodegas to get help before coming across NYPD officers.
The teens, all ages 14 to 17 years old, said they came upon the father and daughter having sex. The teens' lawyers provided cellphone video they said showed the woman consenting to have sex with them.
On Wednesday, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced he was dropping charges against the teens.
“The complainant, as well as her father, provided multiple inconsistent accounts to NYPD Detectives and to experienced Special Victims prosecutors about important material facts in this case,” Thompson said in a statement.
“The complainant has recanted her allegations of forcible sexual assault and the existence of a gun, and she does not wish to pursue criminal charges against any of the defendants," he continued. "She also refuses to cooperate with any prosecution against her father, who was engaging in sexual conduct with her.”
Thompson said he hoped the woman "gets all the support she needs going forward."
The woman did not sustain any injuries consistent with rape, but DNA from two of the five suspects were found by a rape test, including one who the woman had repeatedly insisted she did not have sex with, sources said.
Kenneth Montgomery, an attorney for one of the accused teens, said he was "thankful that the DA in Brooklyn takes the time to be prudent and investigate and do the job you would want your NYPD to do.
"I'm glad he didn't rush to judgment like City Hall and these other so-called community leaders, and he took the time to figure out what happened," he said, adding his client and his family was "elated and relieved."
"I think young men make poor choices and have a misunderstanding of what's a healthy sexual relationship," Montgomery said about what happened that night.
The NYPD came under scrutiny in the case when the mayor and elected officials criticized the department for not acting quickly enough to put out information about the attack.
"I just believe the reason [for dropping the charges] is because they're innocent and not because of a lack of evidence," said Abdula Greene, another defense lawyer. "The victim is not credible."
"The family is both relieved and thrilled that this young man's nightmare is over," said Spencer Leeds, attorney for Onandi Brown, one of the accused teens. "He intends to get back to his life and loved ones."