Gang rape charges dismissed by Brooklyn DA, victim recants

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Josh Einiger reports from Brownsville, Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn District Attorney has dismissed rape charges against five young men in Brownsville.

They were paraded in front of news cameras as the face of a crime that made national news.

But five teenagers hauled in last month for a gang rape are now free, after prosecutors determined the shocking crime never even happened.

Abdula Green represents one of the boys.

"You can only imagine the trauma that would go along with a charge like this hanging over a young child's head," Green said.

The pressure on police was intense as the community demanded an arrest in the sensational case.

The 18-year-old alleged victim and her father had told police they'd been drinking together in a Brownsville playground when the five teens showed up and at gunpoint, forced the father to leave, and then raped the daughter, as they recounted at the time to our sister station WABC in New York.

"One of them put a gun in my face, tell me to run, and all of them had their way with her," the father said back in January.

"I was just real scared, I didn't know what to do, I was in a panic mode," the daughter had said.

Police released video of the teens from a nearby bodega and arrested them the next day.

But that's when the case started to unravel, and Wednesday night, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said the only sexual conduct that night was consensual, between the woman and her father.

"The complainant has recanted her allegations of forcible sexual assault and the existence of a gun," Thompson said in a statement. "That night, this young woman's father and the five young men engaged in conduct that was reprehensible and wrong, but because of the lack of reliable evidence, criminal charges simply cannot be sustained."

"We wanted some results, and we wanted them immediately, and they got their day in court, and that's what this democracy is all about," said Tony Herbert, Community Activist.

"It is my fervent hope that this young woman gets all the support that she needs going forward. My office, including our victim advocates who have been working with this young woman, stand ready to provide her with any assistance she may need," Thompson said.
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