Rape Charges Spark Tension

Paul Brooks, Times Herald-Record (Middletown, New York), January 08, 2008

Charges that five boys raped a girl at Kingston High School Friday are sparking racial tensions in the city.

“This girl is just like Tawana Brawley, only she is white,” said the pastor of two of the boys, both black, who are charged with criminal sex acts against the 15-year-old girl. At least one of the other three boys is black.

Kingston police have charged the boys with sexually assaulting the girl in a boys restroom at the school about 3:30 p.m. Friday, after classes had ended. Two are charged with rape in addition to criminal sexual acts and one is charged with unlawful imprisonment. All of the charges are felonies.

In 1987, black teenager Tawana Brawley claimed six white law enforcement officers abducted and raped her in Wappingers Falls. The case touched off a national furor. A grand jury declared the accusations a hoax. In 2005, a black student’s attack on a white Kingston High School student triggered a white racist demonstration.

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Two of the boys charged at Kingston are Sharkey F. Daniel, 19, and his 17-year-old brother, Quami, both of 2204 Spring Brooks Village. They and their mother attend the New Jerusalem United Holy Church on Tremper Avenue.

The boys attend church several times a week, according to the pastor and Charlene LaDay-Hill, a minister, both of whom are black. Sharkey Daniel is a Sunday school teacher who won the Kingston district’s Martin Luther King academic award last year, the women said.

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The brothers are due back in Kingston City Court today to secure their own lawyer. The other three suspects, also of Kingston, are scheduled for preliminary hearings in City Court tomorrow. They are Kory D. Rogers, 18, of 160 Bryun Ave.; Christian Moore-Giles, 18, of 121 Pine Grove Ave., and Tyler J. Bryant, 16, of 43 Gage St. They are being held at the Ulster County Jail on $25,000 bail each.

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She [Pamela Tack, co-chairwoman of the districtwide Parents Council.] was not surprised by accusations against the girl in the incident.

“They always blame the victim. Unless there are confessions, she is the one that is going to be on trial,” Tack said. “No means no, and that’s it.”

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