Somerville students arrested on assault charges

On August 31, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

high_schoolThree Somerville High School students have been arrested in connection with a sexual assault that took place in Otis this past weekend.

Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless says 17 year old Galileo Mondol and two 16 year old juvenile males were arrested today by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to his Office.

Mondol is being charged with one count of aggravated rape of a child under 16, two counts of assault with intent to rape a child under 16, one  count of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained 14 years of age, three counts of assault and battery and three  counts of intimidation of a witness or other person.  He will be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court, in Pittsfield.

The juvenile males will be were arraigned in Berkshire Juvenile Court, in Pittsfield, on similar charges.

According to Capeless, the incident occurred at Camp Lenox in Otis, MA where the City of Somerville had rented the facility for team-building activities for its fall sports teams. It is alleged that the defendants, Juniors at Somerville High School, entered a cabin occupied by Freshman students Sunday, August 25 and assaulted three victims.

The investigation is being conducted by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office assisted by State Police detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the Somerville Police Department.

District Attorney Capeless stated, “I want to extend my appreciation to the Somerville school authorities and coaches, who acted quickly and appropriately when they became aware of these allegations, and I also want to thank Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquariello and his department and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and her Office for the considerable cooperation and assistance they have provided to us, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as this case moves forward.  Special thanks go out to Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who has made it a priority to emphasize to all the city’s personnel to assist the investigating authorities and to continue to act with courtesy, consideration and professionalism when dealing with the victims and witnesses and their families.  Their efforts are much appreciated.”

“We thank District Attorney David Capeless, his Office and the Massachusetts State Police for their speed and diligence in undertaking an investigation of these grave allegations, and working cooperatively with the Somerville Police Department and our school officials at every step of this investigation,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville Public Schools Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi and Somerville High School Headmaster John J. Oteri in a joint statement.  “We will continue to provide any resources and information the District Attorney’s Office requires as this investigation continues. Right now we are focused on continuing to provide the support services to students, parents and our community needed for Somerville to come together and heal.”

_____________________________

Joint statement from
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and
Tony Pierantozzi, Superintendent of the Somerville Public Schools

 Earlier today, three members of the Somerville High School junior varsity boys soccer team were arrested on charges that include aggravated rape and assault with intent to rape that allegedly occurred at the annual sports camp in Western Massachusetts. We are disturbed and appalled that these crimes may have taken place and our thoughts and concerns are with the victims and their families. We thank Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless and his office, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, and the Massachusetts State Police for their speed and diligence in undertaking an investigation of these allegations, and also for working cooperatively with the Somerville Police Department and our school officials at every step of this investigation.

These allegations were first reported to members of the Athletic Department at Somerville High School on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. The information was immediately reported to the appropriate authorities including the Department of Children and Families, and a criminal investigation immediately began under the direction of the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office with support by State and Somerville Police. An internal investigation is ongoing.

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. 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 our community hold. We would like to thank the members of the soccer team for their compassionate support of the victims and their courage in coming forward to assist authorities with the investigation.

Our primary concern right now is for the victims and other members of the boys soccer team, as well as for other teams that attended the summer camp. Support services are in place for all those in need of such services. Informational meetings have been conducted for all team members and the parents and guardians of team members who attended the camp to ensure all have access to appropriate services. We will continue to provide these services including the support of the Trauma Response Network and counseling. Services are available to community members and school families who may need them, and an educational and support forum for the school and community members will be announced in the near future.

Our coaches, staff and teachers promote the importance of students working cooperatively and supporting one another at all times. We take great pride in the fact that our students are actively involved in creating caring and supportive school communities. We continue to emphasize to all students that any type of aggressive, criminal or demeaning behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the Somerville Public Schools.

As the investigation continues, and as our community processes this very disturbing information and comes together to heal, we ask that the privacy of student-athletes and families be respected.

 

 

 

 

21 Responses to “Somerville students arrested on assault charges”

  1. Barry the Pig says:

    They should be forced to become eunuchs, the only way to fix them. Eunuchs can have respectable careers and be productive members of society. Just watch Games of Thrones if you don’t believe me :)

  2. So glad I moved out of the Ville.

  3. Bostom says:

    “Our student-athletes are taught to be leaders in our community and they represent the highest and best values that our school and our community hold.” Mayor Curtatone, yesterday.

    It appears, as is so often the case in Somerville, that there’s some distance between rhetoric and reality. The highest and best values may indeed by taught but if these allegations are true, this is hardly the time for the mayor to be highlighting the fact that they aren’t being learned by some members of the team or enforced by the 19 adults who accompanied them to camp. Again, if the rumors circulating are correct, one of the students charged has not yet attended Somerville schools, having been transferred from another institution so hardly in a position to have been taught much of anything: school starts next Wednesday.

    Athletics are an important – but optional – part of any student’s education but in a city where parts of the high school, a few hundred feet from the mayor’s office, are unusable for lack or repairs and our school system is ranked among the worst-performing in the state, it seems odd we have the money to rent camps in the western part of the state, pay for the services of 19 apparently less than eagle-eyed chaperons, and the desire to support championship sports teams but not the same laser-like focus on academic accomplishment.

    Add to that the mayor’s high-visibility attempt, (timed for the evening news?) even if it was the best day of the week (hell, one of the best days of the year – the start of the Labor Day weekend) to bury the story, and something a lot more rotten that what’s been reported so far seems to be going on here. No gender-specific pronouns were employed here or other reports I’ve read. Does this indicate the victim(s) were resident in Otis, MA or another nearby town or that they were residents of Somerville and members of the team? Not to put to fine a point on it but local girls from Otis or local boys from Somerville? I too want to see the victims privacy respected and their names should never be revealed – they’ve suffered more than enough if the allegations are true and I’m sad to say, probably even if they’re not. But the gulf that separates a “single, isolated incident” of rape and, if true, hazing by some members of the team on other members of the team is huge and a crime of a different order – one that occurred under the noses of the 19 men responsible for safeguarding these boys.

    As a Somerville resident, I want to know how the team was being supervised at camp, and who the 19 adult chaperons responsible for maintaining “the highest and best values” of our city were. Were they city employees paid with city funds? What training, if any, did they have for the supervisory work they were doing? What responsibility accrues to them for this alleged incident? If the students are found guilty of criminal behavior, how will the inattention (at a minimum) of those responsible for policing their conduct at camp be dealt with? And down the line, how much will the city again have to pay out in damages for the failures of its own employees, assuming of course they are employees of the high school’s athletic staff?

    We need to heal. The only way to do that is to determine who’s responsible for the crime of rape that has been alleged and if they are found guilty, punishing them severely for what they did. Along the way, it’s at least as important to determine what factors made the rape possible: what role the city – including the mayor – played in organizing the camp and the care of the kids attending it, who was in charge and what training the adults responsible for the student’s safety and well-being had undergone and how they used that training to meet their obligations, and how we as a city can work to prevent a re-occurrence of this stain on our collective reputation. This is not a small story nor sadly, one the mayor can wish away.

    The buck stops at the mayor’s desk: he wants the sports teams more, it seems, than he wants students to learn the things they need to know to compete in this economy. He’s going to have a lot to explain in the coming days and weeks as an incident like this makes all the hoopla and festivals and street closings small potatoes if that’s the case and this is a result of his inattention to what really matters in the life of a city and its people.

  4. ritepride says:

    A horrible hurt for the victims. The community must come to the support of the victims. There should be a fund established to develop scholarships for the victims. There should be support events held for all the sports programs. Somerville Pride needs to come into play. Jimmy Delponte is the right man to rally the citizens.

    The city; mayor, school committee, board of aldermen, all worked hard to have something good for the youth in the sports programs and a few low life scumballs dragged it down. Let’s hope the judicial system deals harshly with them.

  5. Bostom says:

    Further to what I wrote earlier, it’s clear that much of what was disclosed at the time it was written has been superseded by more current information available from the Boston HERALD and to a lesser degree in the GLOBE and on Boston’s TV news stations, all of which have been able to uncover and print far more than appears in the NEWS story above. Perhaps it’s a function of their reporting cycles or resources, but it seems odd, to say the least, that a local paper in the town involved said (and continues to say) so little about what really happened and instead quotes the Mayor and School Superintendent’s press release in full, taking up half the space they’ve devoted to the story so far.

    Why, instead, has the NEWS failed to note that athletes of both sexes attended the camp? There were more than 19 adults there supervising them. The alleged rapists as well as their victims were of the same sex. And Mayor Curtatone left something very important out of his press release, something the NEWS didn’t mention: according to the HERALD, the mayor was there when it happened. None of this – and whatever is yet to come out – is pretty or casts Somerville in anything but a terrible light, and which won’t be “processed” much less properly addressed to assure it doesn’t happen again unless and until all the relevant facts are out in the open. Doing so should in no way ID or demean the victims nor excuse the alleged rapists. If it is hazing, however, and if it has been going on for some time, as comments in the Boston papers suggest, any number of people in positions of authority have a lot to answer for; first and foremost to the victims and their families who had every reason to expect more, lots more, from them; from Mayor Curtatone; and from the Somerville schools. The rest of us can wait for the whole story in all its messy detail when it comes out in court, but problems, especially problems like this, don’t get fixed by sweeping them under the rug. Our hopes and prayers and whatever we can do to help the victims heal should be at the top of everyone’s list, but I, at least, won’t be praying that the Mayor and his administration “process” this into oblivion. Sadly, the students victimized need to be doubly strong: to recover from the trauma they’ve suffered and to rebuild themselves with even more of the strength they’ve already shown on the field. Maybe most importantly, they’re the only ones in this entire sordid incident who are blameless. How many of the adults these kids and their parents placed their faith in can say the same thing? They’ll no doubt say they’re not responsible. I’d like to see someone outside a system that’s shown itself to be so flawed make that call.

    Finally and sadly, this once again illustrates the Somerville NEWS’ preference for printing mayoral press releases, in this instance mostly consisting of one public official after another patting each other on the back instead of reporting on what really happens here in town or in this case, in Otis, Massachusetts at a facility rented and supposedly adequately supervised by employees of the City under the direction of the mayor.

  6. Somerbreeze says:

    Apart from these lowlifes, the city is blessed to have a great resource like Teen Empowerment, helping to steer kids into making the right choices in their lives.

    Supporting programs like TE is all the more important, in light of this
    recent tragedy.

  7. mamamia says:

    This is for Bostom………..you pretentious snob….how many kids (if any) do you have and what private school do they attend?? There was nothing anywhere that even suggested they were trying to “bury” this story… they reported it when they found out and it was handled appropriately. While it sickens me to imagine what those poor boys went through with this sick act by 3 young men……..what bothers me even more is your halfhearted attempt to blame the city……….the coaching staff ……..or anybody else for that matter………….it was 3 sick individuals who carried this out and those are the only ones who need to be held accountable……….i have a son who attends Somerville high, plays football and was at that camp when this occurred. Needless to say he was upset about what occurred and we have talked about it extensively. However my son, as well as a lot of his friends are good kids……..not evil, well educated, and in all Honors classes (surprised?) It’s people like you who drag this city down……..are you not happy living here? Well don’t let the door hit you in the rear on your wait out

  8. EllenM says:

    This character again. No, don’t go taking “Bostom” seriously. It blows through here sporadically laying down its 1000+ word diatribes, which (if one wastes the time to actually thoroughly read through them) always boil down to:

    Mayor = Bad
    Somerville News = Incompetent
    Any and all right-wing kookery = Magically delicious

    And it demands an explanation for whatever it is that ails it at the moment, with no actual facts whatsoever to back up its own accusations.

    It does it time and again. Expressing one’s opinion is fine and good, but the sheer volume of this pseudo-erudite verbosity is absurd in the extreme.

    The great Sam Spade line says it all: The cheaper, the crook, the gaudier the patter.

    So, enjoy the humor of it, but never feed it. We’ll be infested less often.

  9. mamamia says:

    Thanks EllenM— I thought I was crazy for getting upset………clearly Bostom is a very lonely and out of touch person who needs somebody to listen to him/her……!!

  10. Marie says:

    I think there is a lot more to this story that is still to come. Look at Pierantozzi and Curtatone at the Press Conference. They look terrified. Maybe because they know they are liable. Particularly the mayor, who was at the camp the day this happened. They set up this camp, and the kids were probably told they had to attend. Where was the Athletic Director? SHS has had a week-long football camp for years. I don’t know why, because they don’t do it for other sports. I don’t know when they added Soccer to the mix. My understanding is that the camp consisted of the boys’ soccer teams and the boys’ football teams, despite what some of the stories in the press have indicated. Why is the city sponsoring and paying for a camp for these two teams in the first place? The city and the mayor will likely pay dearly for having put into place the mechanism which made this assault possible. What a disgrace.

  11. Bostom says:

    Mama and Ellen:

    First, I take offense that you think my effort to find out what went on was “half-hearted.” It wasn’t and it’s not. Mine might have been among the first questions asked. Lots more have been asked since and mine won’t be the last until some pretty important questions have been answered and all of those responsible held to account.

    A question for both of you: do you still feel the same way now that it’s been reported there were adults within yards if not feet of the rapes? Not the least concerned that our mayor initially said he knew nothing about the rapes until two days after the fact and made no mention he was there when it happened in his Friday press release until he was forced to? Are you happy that the people who were there running the show want to investigate what happened? These, to me anyway, are important questions that deserve answers, not evasion or stonewalling. If asking those questions makes me a pretentious snob, so be it. Your words aren’t one one-hundredth as painful as what happened to those kids.

    Sorry if accountability’s not relevant to you, or if you think what happened it doesn’t reflect on our city, our city government and our schools. It does to me. I know that a big part of the taxes we all pay go to the schools – and which we, having no skin in the game with no kids of our own – want to see greatly improved. I’d be happier still to pay for results better than those we’re getting because I’m appalled at the rankings we get. Fact: Somerville’s schools aren’t achieving the results they should and I’d like to see both a better education for the kids who attend them and a better return on the money we spend for them. I want Somerville students to have an education leading not just to any job; I want them to have jobs that pay enough to let them live here and schools good enough for their kids so they’ll want to stay here. They’re the future of this city and you’ve never read anything written by me criticizing Somerville’s students. Those I’ve had the opportunity to hire, meet as neighbors, and work with on volunteer projects have uniformly impressed me.

    You’re right: I question any number of questionable things that go on in this city, and I see the mayor’s hand in a lot of it. If I had all the facts I’d go to the DA, not the comments section of the Somerville News. Until then, I’m surprised you object to finding the facts. Do you prefer to stick your head in the sand? Correct again: I’m against the lack of reporting (as in, “finding out what happened” – the Herald does, the Globe does, Channnels 4,5, and 7 do too) instead of reprinting misleading and incomplete mayoral press releases as does the News. You’d think a local paper would take greater interest in local events, especially one this important. I do, anyway. If you prefer not to know, that’s your prerogative.

    I’m not sure what’s “pseudo-erudite” – I know I cringe when I see a typo or grammatical error I missed in something I wrote and wish the News had a better comment system that included an opportunity to edit a post. I did see some errors of fact in my first post contradicted in later reporting which appeared in other media outlets and I attempted to correct them in the second post in an effort to be accurate. I’m not going to try to silence the messenger because I don’t like their messages and I invite you to point out any errors: I’d be happy to retract anything I’ve written that’s factually incorrect. You’re right in that most of my posts are longer than the one-liners that only occasionally add to the discussion, instead more often offering the poster’s unsupported and too often, off the wall and off the topic, opinions. Asking questions, drawing inferences, weighing probabilities and reporting information that supports conclusions takes more verbiage than trashing an opinion with which you disagree. Just an FYI: I’m not writing from the basement – most of what I post is written in my offices, both of which are above ground. The “posting alone in your Mom’s basement” is such a cliche that you should be ashamed to trot it out again. It ceased to be accurate or effective years ago.

    I do plead guilty to a preference for the long form: I was taught expository writing long before the internet appeared and still favor an essay to a 140-word tweet or a one-liner comment. “Pseudo-erudite” or not, you’ve taken the time to read them as you seem familiar with their content. That’s all any writer can ask for.

    Bostongranny, A poster in this morning’s Globe, who possesses a gift for brevity I lack, said more or less the same things in fewer words this morning as below:

    09/02/2013 09:58 AM
    How was this field trip organized? How were the chaperones trained? What were the instructions for the trip? Lots of questions to be asked. Who was in charge?

    I’m not the only one asking questions. There will be lots more in the days and weeks to come and I’ll repeat what I said before: we can wait for all the lurid details. I’m interested in knowing how something this sordid, city-sponsored, publicly funded, and adult-supervised, came to happen. In the meantime, I repeat what I said before. Pray for the kids affected. And do what you can to see it’s never repeated. What happened to them should never happen to anyone, male or female, adult or child, alone or (worse of all, to me anyway) in a supervised setting. Never should have been allowed to happen. Period.

    I can only hope you agree with that. If you don’t, we’re on different pages. Sorry too that you wasted so much time reading what I wrote and then compounded your waste of time commenting on it.

  12. mamamia says:

    @Bostom……..just shut up !!!

  13. EllenM says:

    Don’t feed the long form trolls.

  14. Bob says:

    I’m reminded of an episode of South Park where Cartman becomes the reader of the elementary school announcements and starts making Glenn Beck-style accusations against student body president Wendy–all in the name of “just asking the tough questions.” It’s good social commentary on today’s political culture where people make outrageous insinuations under the guise that they are simply asking questions and seeking further discussion.

    Lets wait for all the facts to come out and spend our energies supporting the victims and all the kids affected.

  15. Somerbreeze says:

    @mamamia – Regardless of what you think of Bostom’s posts, telling anyone on this site to “shut up” is uncalled for and just plain nasty.

    Let the bee out of your bonnet, please.

  16. agreed says:

    agreed,Somerbreeze, rude and uncalled for. EllenM/Mamamia, you don’t think it’s important to find out what adults were supervising? They are in place to protect YOUR child from perverts like this, who can turn up anywhere, anytime. It’s very important to find out who was supposed to be providing safety for our kids. I don’t know where to get information, haven’t seen the details some are referring to. where do I look?

  17. EllenM says:

    Nor the short form trolls.

  18. Lifer says:

    Hey Ginny ,,, we’re glad you moved too

  19. Ginny says:

    Ginny, this has nothing to do with Somerville. This happened recently in Belmont, and other lovely suburbs and wealthy communities. In Glen Ridge NJ, upscale town, football players raped a retarded special education student. don’t slam Somerville with this.

  20. PixiePocahontas says:

    Bostom,

    I’ve been following this story closely as well as the mounting arsons across our city. It appears the administration has even more to deal with in addition to their selective projects and questionable conduct as town officials.

    As a native, who attended SomPublicSchools, as well as my children, I am appalled at what occurred at the sports camp. I’m equally appalled at any attempts by the current administration to avoid disclosing important details. In no way excusing this behavior, but they are probably just taking cues from their lawyers.

    With respect to much of what goes on around the city–they do enjoy keeping residents out of local issues, so this does not surprise me.

    Just ask anyone who has tried to speak out at one of the neighborhood meetings about proposed projects. Our concerns are ignored and dismissed. Much of the time, decisions are being made without us even knowing about it.

    So, I am not surprised at any of the news stories coming out, because this is an administration which does not welcome any criticism, whether it be constructive or otherwise. It’s comprised of self-serving, arrogant and short-sighted politicians who are only concerned with increasing their budgets with professional/college attending transients who are wealthy.

    Business should start at home–it’s time they start paying attentions to matters in our city which are effecting the constituency they represent, instead of looking at their bank accounts and hiring local families who maintain ill conceived loyalties.

    As a local with extended family in this city for over 85 years, I am disgusted at what I have been seeing and reading about for the past 10 years, some of this nonsense I’ve experienced for myself.

    Don’t worry about the comments by their defenders–they are local loyalists who obviously have their own vested interests.

  21. Dear Lifer, losers like you are the reason we moved out. You can have your slum apartment.

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