Three Additional Arrests in Sexual Assault Case

Three additional arrests were made last Monday as part of the ongoing investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a female student on Nov. 14, according to a news release from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Justin Sommers and Christopher Rainone, both 18-year-old males, were charged with endangering an injured victim and invasion of privacy, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a statement. Additionally, Jordyn Massood, an 18-year-old female, was also charged with endangering a victim, Molinelli said. The three students were charged on complaint summons and have since been released, the press release stated.

These arrests follow the earlier arrests of Nakeem Gardner and Christian Lopez on Nov. 17. Both were charged with aggravated sexual assault.

“The charge of endangering an injured victim alleges that each aided or encouraged Lopez and Gardner during the sexual assault. The charge of invasion of privacy alleges that Sommers and Rainone took pictures of the victim without her consent,” Molinelli said.

Molinelli also announced additional charges relating to the sexual assault. Lopez has been charged with criminal restraint, endangering an injured victim and invasion of privacy, and Gardner has also been charged with endangering an injured victim. Both remain in the Bergen County Jail, according to the press release. Lopez has also been charged with “inappropriately touching” another female student from Ramapo, Molinelli said in the statement.

President Peter Mercer addressed the additional arrests in a statement last Monday.

“These charges raise fundamental issues of personal responsibility and respect for one’s fellow students that should be at the core of collegiate life. It is distressing to think that none of those who were aware of this incident at the time appear to have intervened even by reporting it anonymously,” Mercer said.

The statement also discussed consulting outside help to re-examine the College’s sexual assault prevention and alcohol awareness programs, and encouraged student discussion and engagement regarding these topics.

“We are proceeding to contact potential third party reviewers to examine our programs, policies and procedures and I expect to have news on that front by next week. We need, as a College, to engage seriously on these matters and I will be reaching out to student groups in particular in the coming days and weeks about how best to hold that discussion,” Mercer stated.