NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The life of a former UMass student was turned upside down the night of October 13, 2012. That’s when four men allegedly gang-raped her in her dorm room, when the victim says she was barely conscious.
The victim considered one of those men, Emmanuel Bile, a friend at the time, and invited him into her dorm room along with his friends Adam Liccardi, Justin King, and Caleb Womack. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl said that’s when they took advantage of her, allegedly taking turns raping her for an hour. The victim testified her attackers only stopped because her cries continued to grow louder.
She said she tried to continue her college career after the attack, but was overcome with paranoia whenever she was alone. She said it wasn’t possible to go back to her normal life, discontinuing her college career after just six weeks.
More than two years later, Bile became the first of her alleged attackers to be tried in court. On Monday, he was convicted on two counts of aggravated rape, and acquitted on one count. At Hampshire County Superior Court on Wednesday, Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder sentenced Bile to eight to 10 years in prison. Bile will spend his sentence at MCI Cedar Junction state prison in Walpole.
The prosecutor said Emmanuel Bile and his friends took advantage of the victim during her most vulnerable time. She was reportedly intoxicated before the men came over, bringing with them a bottle of vodka and marijuana. The victim, her four alleged attackers, and her two girl friends all continued to drink and smoke in her room. Her two friends then left to go to bed, reportedly because they thought the men were also leaving. That’s when the victim was left alone in her dorm room with no one but the four men.
At Wednesday’s hearing, the victim talked to Judge Jeffrey Kinder in front of the court room, describing the devastating night when she said she lost her will to live. “I thought that Emmanuel was my friend, and I had trusted him. That night he treated me like I was less than a human or animal, but merely an object that didn’t matter,” she said.
Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder explained Bile’s behavior in court, including the defendant’s testimony. “Perhaps most disturbing was that Mr. Bile, in his own testimony, after the opportunity for sober reflection, showed no remorse for his conduct,” he said.
Defense Attorney David Pixley requested a maximum of eight and a half years for Bile. “That includes factors of potential peer pressure, that includes factors of a group dynamic, your honor, that includes collective mentality of three 18-year-olds at that time,” he said. Pixley argued his client was “young and naive,” and potentially peer pressured after a night of heavy drinking and smoking marijuana.
Court dates for Liccardi, King, and Womack are expected to be set on April 8, with trials beginning later this month.