SOMERVILLE — Three members of the Somerville High School junior varsity boys soccer team were arrested Friday on rape charges in connection with an alleged sexual assault at a sports camp in Western Massachusetts, where the teens were meant to work on team-building for the fall season.
Galileo Mondol, 17, and two 16-year-olds, all juniors at Somerville High School, are accused of entering a freshman cabin at Camp Lenox in Otis on Sunday and assaulting three other students, according to Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless.
"The incident goes far beyond hazing. This is rape,'' said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, who was at the camp coaching until Sunday.
Mondol is charged with one count of aggravated rape of a child under the age of 16, two counts of assault with intent to rape a child under 16, one count of indecent assault and battery, three counts of assault and battery, and three counts of witness intimidation, according to Capeless. The two juveniles, whose names were not released, face similar charges.
Mondol was being held on $100,000 cash or $1,000,000 surety bail, Capeless said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield.
The two 16-year-olds will be arraigned in Berkshire Juvenile Court.
"My client emphatically maintains his innocence," said William Korman, Mondol's attorney. "We are pleading not guilty Tuesday because he is not guilty."
Korman declined to comment on the allegations, or what Mondol's defense would be, but said his client has no criminal record, and the allegations against him are "completely contrary to his character."
The city had rented out the camp for the girls soccer team, the football team, and the boys soccer team, said Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi.
There were 165 student-athletes at the camp, and 19 adult supervisors, as well as a head injury coordinator.
There are adults in every cabin overnight, said Pierantozzi, but during the day, athletes move around the camp going to training sessions.
"The allegations are serious, disturbing, shocking, and sad," Curtatone said at a press conference Friday night. Curtatone has helped coach students at the camp for 12 of the 15 years it has existed.
School officials first heard of the assault accusations on Tuesday, the day after students returned from camp, and contacted authorities, Curtatone said.
"At this time, the thorough and meticulous investigation by the Berkshire County D.A.'s Office provides no indication that anyone other than the three individuals arrested have been implicated, and found that this was a single, isolated incident," Curtatone and Pierantozzi said in a written statement. "No other victims have been identified. Our student-athletes are taught to be leaders in our community and they represent the highest and best values that our school and community hold."
Pierantozzi said he met with parents and athletes after the accusations were made.
"All of us, frankly, are horrified at these allegations," Pierantozzi said.
Head boys soccer coach George Scarpelli, who said he was on the trip with his team, declined to speak about the three boys who are accused, but he said the rest of his team and the school community are supporting one another.
"It's not an easy situation. But it's something that our kids are standing up and being very strong," said Scarpelli. "I have good boys and they're standing very strong together."
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