Pair in Snapchat sex assault get 4-5 years in prison
SALEM — A judge Friday sentenced two Saugus residents to 4 to 5 years in prison for what she called a “series of violent assaults” on an intoxicated 16-year-old girl who tried to fend off her assailants during an attack that was videotaped and shared on Snapchat.
Judge Kathe M. Tuttman said the 2014 assault perpetrated by Rashad Deihim and Kailyn Bonia deeply affected the victim.
Now 18, the woman attended the sentencing in Essex Superior Court in Salem, but did not speak during the proceeding.
Tuttman said the victim was given the overdose-reversal drug Narcan after police found her half-naked in the woods behind an elementary school in Saugus where the attack was carried out on Sept. 3, 2014.
She was so incapacitated from alcohol and drugs she was “literally within hours of dying,” the prosecution said at trial.
“Despite her level of intoxication, she was obviously attempting to physically resist while she was being restrained during this incident,” Tuttman said. “The impact on her. . . was obviously serious and lasting.”
Deihim, 21, and Bonia, 20, were also ordered to complete three years of probation after their release from prison. They each have spent a little more than a year in custody while their cases were pending and were credited for that time.
The victim’s mother said the punishment was too lenient.
“The time didn’t fit that crime,” she said. “I don’t know what else to tell you.”
The Globe does not identify the victims of sexual assault or their relatives.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall had sought a prison term of 5 to 7 years for Deihim and Bonia, saying both failed to recognize the harm they had done.
“They have placed no value on the victim in this case,” MacDougall said. “This was a targeted, vicious sexual assault on an innocent young woman.”
Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett said the punishment “acknowledges the severity of the crimes.”
“They cruelly attacked a highly intoxicated teenager, who, nevertheless tried to resist them and get away,” he said in a statement. “I hope that she is now able to put this horrific event behind her.”
Deihim and Bonia were convicted in July of assault to rape, indecent assault and battery, and kidnapping in the attack. Deihim was also convicted of posing a child in a state of nudity, while Bonia was acquitted of the same charge.
Deihim and Bonia had asserted that the encounter recorded on Snapchat was consensual and that they should be acquitted.
Their lawyers sought shorter prison terms.
Deihim’s attorney, Stephen Neyman, asked for a sentence of 2 years in prison followed by 5 years of probation. Lawyer James Caramanica, who represented Bonia, asked for her to spend 1½ years in jail and get credit for the time she spent locked up while the case was pending.
Deihim apologized to the victim through Neyman; Bonia’s attorney read aloud from a letter she wrote.
“I have seen and felt the way this has affected everyone involved and it is my hope to do all that I can to resolve and restore the situation going forward,” the letter said.
During the trial, the victim testified that she recalled few details about the attack. Key evidence about the assault came from another teenager, Sydnee Enos, who received the Snapchat videos and took screenshots of the recordings as they played on her phone.
Enos testified that she contacted Timothy Cyckowski, the teenager sending the videos, to learn where he was. Enos’s father then relayed the information to police, who found the victim in the woods.
Cyckowski, 19, was prosecuted in juvenile court, where he pleaded guilty to several charges. His father, Matthew, 39, pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and was sentenced to probation, court records show.
Tuttman ordered Deihim and Bonia to have no contact with the victim, Enos, or their families.