Morehouse rape case lingers; attorneys want it dismissed

Update: In August of 2016, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard had decided not to prosecute cases referenced below. See for details.

Nine months have passed since three Morehouse College students were accused of drugging, kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old Spelman College freshman in a Morehouse campus dormitory.

Since then the three, all basketball players, have been arrested on various assault and rape charges and released on bond. They have not been indicted, and no trial is scheduled.

Attorneys for the defendants say prosecutors have taken too long, the young men’s lives have been held in limbo, and they want the case dismissed.

“It’s a shame that (my client’s) life has to be on hold because they are playing games,” said Jackie Patterson, attorney for Chukwudi Ndudikwa, one of the defendants. “If they are going to indict them they need to indict them … I believe the investigation is taking too long, which says there is no evidence.”

The Fulton County District Attorney’s office provided no additional information, saying only that the case remains open and is under investigation. Morehouse has also remained quiet on the case.

Ndudikwa, 23, along with Tevin Mgbo, 22, and Malcolm Frank, 22, were accused of having non-consensual sex with the Spelman student on March 8 during a night of partying. Since the incident and their subsequent arrests in April, the athletes have been suspended from Morehouse, said Keith Adams, Frank’s attorney. Like Patterson, Adams said he thought the case would have been dismissed by now.

The incident occurred within two months of another alleged assault by a former Morehouse athlete in an off-campus residence.

Patterson says a report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, released in October, undermines the case involving the basketball players. He said that report states no male DNA was found during laboratory tests on the alleged victim. Based on that report, his client is innocent, Patterson said. The attorney is considering filing a motion to dismiss the case.

But filing that motion is unlikely to matter, said Steven Sadow, a criminal defense attorney not associated with the case.

“What should be the overriding concern at this point,” Sadow said, “is these defendants have been arrested and are waiting for something to happen,” he said. “If there’s a case, bring the case. If not, drop it.”

Morehouse reported no forcible sex offenses in 2012, the most recent data available. It reported one in 2011. Colleges must report crime statistics to the United States Department of Education under the federal Clery Act. Under the law, forcible sex offenses include rape, sex assault and fondling.

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