Rape charges against 2 LI teens dismissed
Charges of rape on an upstate campus were dismissed against two Long Island teenagers and one from Brooklyn after a grand jury declined to indict them, according to authorities and court documents.
The grand jury's decision, made last month, seals the cases on the three, who had been freshmen at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh: William Serviss, 18, of Rocky Point; Glendon Glashen, 18, of Hempstead; and Michael Curatola, 17, of Brooklyn.
They were charged Sept. 1 with first-degree rape after Newburgh police investigated a tip that a female student had been raped on campus at 1 a.m. that day.
Serviss said he and the other two had consensual sex with the woman in his dorm room, so he was surprised when college security interviewed him almost 12 hours later, followed by his arrest by police.
"Everything that I worked hard for through high school and middle school was lost in one day over a lie," said Serviss, who had a three-quarter academic scholarship to the college.
After suspending the three, the school also investigated and closed the case, a college spokeswoman said.
"Based on the information currently available to the College, utilizing a preponderance of the evidence standard, the College has determined there is insufficient evidence to support a reasonable belief that a sexual assault occurred," Kelly Yough, dean of student affairs, wrote to Serviss.
The Orange County district attorney's office declined to comment because the cases are sealed.
Grand jurors can decide not to indict if they don't find enough evidence, which could include testimony from accusers, suspects and witnesses.
Glashen's attorney, Vincent Scala of Garden City, and Serviss' attorney, Lisa Pelosi of Manhattan, said they believe it came down to credibility, that jurors did not believe the accuser.
"There was a rush to judgment," Scala said.
"Women need to feel they can trust the criminal justice system and report sex crimes," Pelosi said. "In turn, men deserve the protection that a rush to judgment will not ruin their lives."
The identity of the female student was not released.
Curatola's attorney, Michael Sheinberg of Brooklyn, said his client got a part-time job while he was suspended and plans to continue his studies elsewhere.
Glashen, who wanted to study business and play for the college's lacrosse team, has started at Nassau Community College, said his attorney, describing him as "everybody's hope for a son."
Serviss was accepted at a liberal arts college in Wisconsin.
"I'm just happy that it's all over," he said. "I found a college and I'm back on track."