For the screeching banshees who openly wonder if false rape claims often destroy the lives of men, this is from today's NY Post. Perhaps it will help those skeptics cease seeing the world the world through a gynocentric lens.
Rape slur will haunt us
'My name is forever tarnished. I'll always have to explain it'
By KEVIN FASICK, KIERAN CROWLEY and LUKAS I. ALPERT
Posted: 3:12 AM, September 19, 2009
Their lives will never be the same.
Embarrassed and humiliated by cries of rape that came from the twisted imagination of a Hofstra student, the five men involved in the bathroom orgy with her are terrified that being branded predators will haunt them for eternity.
"Anytime anyone Googles my name, rape is going to be right there beside it. My name is forever tarnished," said 19-year-old Stalin Felipe.
"What if I am applying for a job or whatever in the future? I feel like I am always going to have to offer some explanation."
The Bronx Community College student faced the dimmest of futures when Danmell Ndonye, 18, told cops she had been raped during a restroom romp at a Hofstra dorm early Sunday.
He and his stepbrother, Kevin Taveras, 20, and pals Jesus Ortiz, 19, and Rondell Bedward, 21, were all charged with first-degree rape, which could have landed them in jail for 25 years if convicted.
As cops hunted for the fifth man, the lives of the others quickly became a living hell.
"We went to Hofstra just to have some fun, and it turned out to be a nightmare," Felipe said. "Cops were telling us, 'You are going to rot in jail.' "
They were exonerated only after the fifth man -- Felipe's cousin Arvin Rivera, an 18-year-old senior at Harry S. Truman HS in The Bronx -- contacted prosecutors through his lawyer and said he had videotaped the sex romp with his cellphone. The video showed the sex was consensual.
"He saved us. He was our messiah," Felipe said. "If he hadn't had that, she would have continued with no remorse and I would be released from jail when I am 44 years old for something I didn't do."
Even though he wasn't arrested, Rivera said he felt like a prisoner to Ndonye's lies.
"I was so afraid," he told The Post in an exclusive interview. "Words cannot even begin to describe how I was feeling inside. Thank God I was there. And thank God I filmed it."
He said he knew he held the key to their freedom.
"There I was -- my friends in jail and I'm not, but every time I heard a siren or saw a police officer I was petrified. I just wanted the truth to come out," Rivera said.
"Once the whole thing came out, my family got me an attorney. I knew I had that video and that was the only key to the freedom for my family and friends."
"All my prayers came true," he said.
Felipe said having to spend three days in jail -- mostly under 22-hour- a-day lockdown in protective custody -- was enough to change his whole perspective on life.
"You can do a lot of thinking in 22 hours," he said.
"I prayed. I felt God had taken away my life because I had taken so much for granted. But then he gave it back, and I appreciate every little moment."
But he is still traumatized by the roller coaster he had been on in the past week.
"It's crazy -- I go from being a rapist to a hero in four days," Felipe said.
"I was hurt because they said we were rapists. There was no benefit of a doubt. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?"
The men declined to discuss exactly what happened that night.
Taveras' aunt, Nelly Plasencia, said her nephew told her that Ndonye had been dancing with Ortiz at a sorority mixer at the on-campus club Hofstra USA. The young woman had just ditched her boyfriend when Taveras met her, the aunt said.
"They started making out, and she said to him, 'Do you want to come back to my dorm?' " Plasencia said.
"He said, 'I have friends here with me,' and she said, 'Bring 'em along. It'll be hot.'
"It started from there. The point is she knew what she was doing," Plasencia said.
They went up to a bathroom on the 11th floor of Estabrook Hall, where she began having sex with each of them.
"Stalin said to her, 'Are you sure about this?' " Plasencia said. "She said, 'Yeah, sure, I want to.' "
During the whole steamy episode, her phone rang repeatedly as her boyfriend tried to find her.
"Her phone went off seven to eight times. They asked her, 'Why don't you answer that?' She said, 'It's OK, I don't need to answer,' " Plasencia said.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice has said she was mulling charges against Ndonye -- whom she called a "troubled young woman" -- for filing a false report.
Taveras' mother welcomes such a charge.
"She has to pay. She needs punishment for that. She should be in jail. If you do something, you've got to confront it. I feel sorry for her parents, but not for her," Giselle Taveras said.
Ndonye and her family have gone into hiding and could not be reached for comment.
Neighbors at her Harlem building said Ndonye -- the child of immigrants from Africa -- is exceptionally intelligent and quiet and had gone to a private high school on scholarship.
"The girl was genius-like. She wanted to be a physicist," said neighbor Antoinette Perez, a retired NYPD civilian employee. "She's quiet -- she doesn't say two words. She's a nice, innocent, well-bred, shy girl."
Another neighbor, who would not give her name, said her granddaughter used to play with Ndonye when they were children.
"This kid is brilliant, scary brilliant. I think she wanted to pursue medicine. This child would read The New York Times when she was 3. I mean, she is a prodigy," she said. "This child has such an intact mother and father. It's a devout family -- structured."
Additional reporting by Liz Sadler