September 25, 2009 By ELLIS HENICAN firstname.lastname@example.org
She isn't being charged with any crime.
But is the woman in the Hofstra rape-allegation case actually getting a sterner dose of justice in the deal she cut on Friday with the Nassau district attorney's office? District Attorney Kathleen Rice says so.
Danmell Ndonye now admits she wasn't raped at all. She says that she had consensual sexual contact with four young men in a dorm bathroom - and didn't have any sexual contact with student Rondell Bedward. Until she recanted to Nassau prosecutors, all five faced up to 25 years behind bars.
Besides publicly admitting she lied, she promises to get some therapy and do 250 hours of community service.
"There exists no perfect solution to this case," Rice said at week's end. "Only our best attempt at holding her accountable while encouraging real victims to come forward and accusers to tell the truth so that we can avoid incarcerating an innocent person."
Not arresting Ndonye, Rice said, "is the only way we guarantee that this woman gets the help that she needs and is held publicly accountable for what she's done."
Even if the young woman were charged, Rice added, state law only allows for a misdemeanor.
Is New York law really that weak?
A person can accuse another of a horrible felony without facing any serious charge? Maybe that's where this discussion should turn next.