NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Saying that the defendant was part of “an alcohol-fueled, sex-crazed assault of horrific proportions,” a Northampton judge sentenced Emmanuel Bile, Jr. to eight to 10 years in state prison followed by five years probation for an attack on a UMass Amherst student. Bile, of Pittsfield, is the first of four men to be put on trial in connection with the October 2012 attack, which prosecutors say was a gang rape. In handing down his sentence Wednesday morning, Hampshire Superior Court Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder said that the defendant showed “no remorse or even recognition” for the severity of his actions.
Aggravated rape carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment in Massachusetts, though sentences are up to the judge’s discretion. In Bile’s case, the prosecution had been seeking a sentence of 10 to 12 years in prison, while the defense sought only up to eight and a half years.
Prosecutors allege that Bile, Adam Liccardi, Justin King, and Caleb Womack forced themselves on the young woman, who was barely conscious at the time of the attack. During Wednesday’s hearing, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl talked of the victim’s vulnerability at the time, and added that the victim had trusted Bile, who had been a friend to her.
Bile’s attorney, David Pixley, said that the sex was consensual. He told the Daily Hampshire Gazette on Monday that he plans to appeal his client’s conviction.
First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne said that justice has been done, but the victim still has to live with the effects of the crime.
“There are really no winners in the situation, and no sentence imposed can undo the harm that was inflicted on the victim in this case. But we think that it was a strong sentence that sends hopefully a clear message about the gravity of this crime,” Gagne said.
Bile will serve his sentence at MCI Cedar Junction state prison in Walpole. Once he is released, he will have to submit to the conditions of his probation, which include registering as a sex offender, wearing a GPS monitoring device, abstaining from alcohol or drugs and submitting to random screenings, and staying away from the victim and her family.
Suhl praised the bravery of the victim for coming forward and assisting UMass Police and prosecutors. “The verdict owes to the extreme courage the victim displayed in testifying at trial, and to the thorough investigation conducted by the University of Massachusetts Police Department,” Suhl said.
Court dates for Liccardi, King, and Womack are expected to be set on April 8, with trials beginning later this month.