4 men arrested in alleged Hofstra gang rape

(AP) - A Hofstra University student trying toretrieve a stolen cell phone was lured into a dormitory men's roomand sexually assaulted by five men, police said Tuesday.

Four of the five suspects, including the only Hofstra studentamong them, have been arrested on rape and other charges.

Detective Lt. John Allen of the Nassau County special victimssquad said the rape occurred on the Hempstead campus at about 3a.m. Sunday.

According to police, the woman had been at a dance party at anon-campus nightclub and after dancing with one of the suspects, theman snatched the woman's cell phone from her and left the club. Shepursued him outside, repeatedly asking for the phone back, Allensaid.

The man then entered a dormitory and went into an elevator asthe woman followed him, police said. The two got out at anundisclosed floor, where the man met an acquaintance. According topolice, the pair then proceeded to bind the woman's hands with somerope and took her into a dormitory men's room, where they sexuallyassaulted her. Three men later entered the room. The woman pleadedwith the newcomers for help, but they also sexually assault her"one by one," police said.

Allen would not say how long the ordeal took place, but said thewoman immediately reported the incident to campus police. Officersinvestigating later Sunday morning arrested a man matching thedescription of the suspects. Three others were subsequentlyarrested and police said Tuesday they were still looking for thefifth suspect.

Only one of the five, Rondell Bedward, 21, of the Bronx, is aHofstra student. Police say he "signed in" the other four men ashis guests in the dormitory for the weekend.

Bedward and Jesus Ortiz, 19, also of the Bronx, were being heldon $350,000 cash bail following their arraignments Monday night.They were represented by attorneys from Legal Aid, which has apolicy of not commenting on pending cases.

The two other suspects were awaiting arraignment Tuesday inDistrict Court in Hempstead. The names of their attorneys were notimmediately available.

Melissa Connolly, Hofstra's vice president for universityrelations, said in a statement to students and faculty thatofficials were cooperating with investigators.

"Our first priority is to ensure that the victim of this crimereceives all available support, counseling and services, and thatour entire community understands that sexual offenses of any typeare not tolerated," she said.

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