Brooklyn playground gang rape charges dismissed, DA says

Osborn Playground in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.
Osborn Playground in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Getty Images composite

Criminal charges have been dropped in the alleged gang rape that occurred last month in a Brownsville playground, according to the Brooklyn district attorney.

“That night, this young woman’s father and the five young men engaged in conduct that was reprehensible and wrong, but because of the lack of reliable evidence, criminal charges simply cannot be sustained,” District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a news release.

The 18-year-old woman originally reported that on Jan. 7, she and her father were stopped at gunpoint by five teenagers at Osborn Playground on Linden Boulevard. The father claimed to have fled, and he later returned with officers. Police arrested and charged five teens: Travis Beckford, Denzel Murray, Shaquell Cooper, Ethan Phillip and Onandi Brown.

The 18-year-old has since recanted her claims of rape at gunpoint and will not pursue charges, according to Thompson. “She also refuses to cooperate with any prosecution against her father, who was engaging in sexual conduct with her,” he added.

The NYPD was criticized for not alerting the public about the assault until two days after. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who learned of the assault on the weekend, acknowledged he should have been informed quicker.

“It is my fervent hope that this young woman gets all the support that she needs going forward,” Thompson said.