Via The NY Daily News:
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino ordered the release of Travis Beckford, 17; Onandi Brown, 17; Ethan Phillip, 15; Shaquelle Cooper, 15, and Denzel Murray, 14.
Cooper, however, will remain in custody for a pending assault case.
District Attorney Kenneth Thompson raised no objections.
“Because we are determined to get to the truth about what happened in that park, we need more time to investigate this complex case and gather more evidence,” Thompson said. “Therefore, we have consented to the defendants’ release.”
Phillips’ lawyer Abdula Greene commended Thompson.
“Straight out of the gate, the case wasn’t solid,” she said.
Spencer Leeds, lawyer for Brown, who had been ordered held on $25,000 bond, also applauded the move.
“We believe after a full and fair investigation is complete, Onandi will be exonerated,” Leeds said.
Meanwhile, the victim’s father denied allegations by two of the defendants that they saw him having sex with his daughter on a tennis court at the Osborn Playground the night of Jan. 7. He also denied it to detectives early in the investigation, sources said.
“Why would you ask that question?” the father responded in disgust, according to sources.
When asked Thursday about the suspects being released, he told the Daily News, “I have nothing to say.”
The 18-year-old accuser gave a brief interview Sunday to ABC-TV, saying, “I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do.”
Kenneth Montgomery, the lawyer for Murray, blamed “so-called community leaders” and police for rushing to judgment “without trying to figure out what happened before they ruin these young men’s lives.”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton suggested Thursday his investigators haven’t yet gotten to the bottom of it.
“The first story is never the last story,” Bratton said. “I think in this case that’s certainly the case or will prove to be the case.”
Bratton said detectives are reviewing a 10-second cellphone video, taken by one of the accused teens, which shows the victim smiling. She wasn’t wearing pants.
Detectives have yet to receive the results of a rape kit, he said. It could take more than a week for the testing to be complete.
The first reports in the case described a horrific scene in which a young woman was raped at gunpoint by the five teens while her father desperately searched for a police officer.
That picture soon changed. In addition to the other issues, neither the father nor the daughter could pick out any of the five teens in lineups.
Something isn’t right with all of this. Hopefully, a full and thorough investigation will be conducted.
We definitely don’t need another Central Park Five.
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