Prosecutors: East Hampton teen raped ex-girlfriend in school parking lot
An East Hampton 18-year-old has pleaded not guilty to charges that he allegedly lured his ex-girlfriend into a school parking lot and raped her twice while her 7-year-old brother sat in a car nearby.
Prosecutors say Bryan Siranaula pretended to be the victim's friend on an app to get her to go to the Springs School in East Hampton on Feb. 4.
When she arrived, prosecutors say Siranaula forced her into his car, choked her and raped her twice. Investigators say Siranaula confessed and that they have DNA and video evidence. They also say he wrote the victim a letter of apology.
Prosecutors say the 7-year-old did not witness the sexual assault but told them he saw Siranaula drag his sister into a car.
Siranaula's defense attorney Daniel Rodgers says his client is not guilty.
"We are maintaining his innocence and intend to try this case in the court of law," Rodgers says.
He says the victim had numerous chances to leave.
"They claim it was forcible, but then she, in her own statement, said she got out of the car and came back to her car for a second time, where there was a second assault. So our position is that the facts just don't seem to be adding up," he says.
Rodgers says his client was born and raised in East Hampton and has strong ties to the community. He works locally as a traffic control officer.
Two dozen of Siranaula's friends and relatives packed the Riverhead courtroom in support.
The judge set his bail at $50,000.