Friday, July 15, 2016

Snapchat Videos Vanish

I wished I'd never seen it to begin with:

"Trial begins in sex assault allegedly shared on Snapchat" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff  July 12, 2016

SALEM — The first day of the school year was over, and Michelle Enos was at home in Saugus watching television with her husband, 16-year-old-daughter, and one of her daughter’s friends.

At about 10 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2014, Enos said, her daughter, Sydnee, jumped from the couch and showed her a video she had just received on her phone. It showed one of her teenage friends standing naked in the woods, pushing her hand forward and slurring the word, “Stop.”

More videos followed, capturing what prosecutors allege was a sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl who was so incapacitated by alcohol and drugs that she was “literally within hours of dying.”

Michelle Enos’s testimony in Essex Superior Court on Tuesday came on the first day of trial for Rashad Deihim, 21, and Kailyn Bonia, 20, Saugus residents who are accused of attacking the girl in the woods near Waybright Elementary School.

A jury of eight women and six men is deciding the case.

Enos, 44, described seeing three videos of the alleged attack on her daughter’s phone.

The videos, sent through the popular messaging application Snapchat, are expected to play a prominent role in the case because the girl who was allegedly attacked has little memory of what happened, Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall said.

Deihim and Bonia have pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with intent to rape, kidnapping, indecent assault and battery, and posing a child in the nude.

In his opening statement, Bonia’s lawyer, James Caramanica, said the girl in the video consented to the encounter and willingly took drugs and drank alcohol earlier in the evening.

“You’re going to hear that everything that was done that evening . . . was consensual,” he said.

The girl also recanted her story twice, Caramanica said.

Deihim’s lawyer, Stephen Neyman, did not deliver an opening statement.

MacDougall disputed that the girl consented to the encounter and said she initially denied the attack because she wanted to salvage her friendship with Deihim and Bonia.

“You will hear that she knew that the whole world knew what had happened to her one way or another and she still wanted to believe that these people were her friends,” she said. “She would have said or done anything to make it all just go away.”

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"Snapchat video plays key role in sexual assault trial" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff  July 13, 2016

SALEM — It was a Snapchat video that left Sydnee Enos “completely mind-blown.”

Enos said she was watching television at her home on Sept. 3, 2014, when a video appeared on her iPhone showing a 16-year-old girl she had known since middle school. The teenager was nude and stumbling through woods as she struggled to speak, Enos said.

“I immediately ran to my mother,” Enos, 18, testified Wednesday. “Something was definitely wrong with her.”

Enos testified in Essex Superior Court in Salem during the trial of Rashad Deihim, 21, and Kailyn Bonia, 20, Saugus residents who are accused of sexually assaulting the girl in an alleged attack that was shared on Snapchat.

Her testimony and screenshots she took of the Snapchat videos are considered key to the prosecution’s case because the alleged victim has little memory of the encounter.

Enos said the clips were sent to her by Timothy Cyckowski, a former friend who she had contact with through Snapchat.

The popular messaging application lets users swap videos, but those clips vanish soon after they are shared, Enos said. Cyckowski, 19, sent three videos to Enos, who took two screenshots as the clips played on her phone, officials said.

The screenshots were provided to jurors, but not displayed publicly in the courtroom.

In one video, Enos said, the girl was lying on top of Bonia, who was on a couch in the woods. Bonia had the girl “almost in a headlock,” was kissing her neck, and fondling her, Enos testified.

In another clip, the girl was on her knees as Bonia tried to force her to perform a sex act on a man, who was videotaped from the waist down, Enos testified. The man was Deihim, according to Enos and prosecutors.

Enos said the girl tried to fight back as Bonia pushed her toward the man.

“She was trying to push her head back to get [Bonia] off of her,” Enos said.

Enos said she called Cyckowski about the videos.

“I called to him to ask him what he was doing because what he was doing was completely wrong,” she said.

The defense objected to Enos’s remark and Superior Court Judge Kathe M. Tuttman, who is presiding over the case, told jurors they could not consider her explanation....

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Also seeVictim in alleged Snapchat sex assault said she remembers being groped

The perps say they were just playing around.

UPDATES:

Defense rests in case of alleged sex assault shared on Snapchat

"A former Vanderbilt football player was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of taking part in the gang rape of an unconscious female student. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins handed down the sentence for Cory Batey after the victim in the case said her life has been shattered by the attack. In all, four former football players were charged. The Associated Press does not generally identify victims of sexual assault. The players used their cellphones to take pictures of the rape. The victim said she learned of what happened to her when detectives showed her the graphic images retrieved from the phones. During her victim impact statement, she described the horror she felt seeing the images of herself. "I've seen with my own eyes what I was when Mr. Batey was done with me: a piece of trash, face down in a hallway, covered in his urine and palm prints, a photograph he took himself," the woman said....

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That was what print(?) gave me. 

Also see: 

In her own words

Power problems at courthouse send Snapchat assault jury home

"Convicted woman seeks light sentence in videotaped sex assault case" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff  September 12, 2016

A Saugus woman convicted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated 16-year-old girl in an attack that was videotaped and shared on Snapchat is asking to serve 1½ years in jail with credit for the approximately 10 months she’s spent locked up, according to court papers.

In the request, Kailyn Bonia’s lawyer says the 20-year-old woman comes from a broken home with a father who was incarcerated before dying in a motorcycle crash, a brother who has bipolar disorder, and another brother who died from a drug overdose months before her arrest.

The memo also says state child welfare officials removed Bonia from her home when she was in the fourth grade until she was about 13 years old.

Judge Kathe M. Tuttman is scheduled to sentence Bonia and her codefendant, Rashad Deihim, Friday in Essex Superior Court in Salem.

A jury convicted Bonia and Deihim, 21, in July of assault to rape, indecent assault and battery, and kidnapping in the attack carried out in the woods behind a Saugus elementary school.

Deihim was also convicted of posing a child in a state of nudity, while Bonia was acquitted of the same charge. Both are in custody awaiting sentencing.

At the time of the attack on Sept. 3, 2014, Bonia was suffering from a mental condition that “significantly reduced her culpability for the offense,” defense attorney James M. Caramanica wrote. He asked that Bonia’s history of mental illness and substance abuse be considered in crafting her punishment.

“On one hand, there is the need to punish and deter future conduct and address an offense that involved abuse of an extremely intoxicated person,” he wrote. “On the other hand, there is also the need to appropriately sentence a young woman with no prior convictions and an obvious drug problem and mental health problem that was a substantial cause to the events leading to her conviction.”

As part of her sentencing request, Bonia seeks to serve a year and a half of a 2½-year jail term on the charges of indecent assault and battery and kidnapping followed by three years of probation for the assault to rape offenses. She also seeks credit for the time she spent in custody while the case was pending.

The prosecution has not disclosed its sentencing recommendation. The deadline for filing that request is Monday, according to the Essex district attorney’s office.

State law says the maximum penalty for indecent assault and battery is five years in prison. Those convicted of kidnapping face up to 10 years in prison and the stiffest punishment for assault to rape is 20 years behind bars.

A sentencing memo has been filed on behalf of Deihim, but court officials said on Friday that it could not be released because it had not been recorded. Deihim’s lawyer, Stephen Neyman did not respond Friday to requests for comment.

During the trial, the victim, who is now 18, testified but she recalled few details about the attack. When she was found by police, she was so incapacitated from alcohol and drugs she was “literally within hours of dying,” prosecutors said.

Deihim and Bonia had asserted that the encounter recorded on Snapchat was consensual and that they should be acquitted.

Key evidence about the assault came from another teenager, Sydnee Enos, who received the Snapchat videos and took screenshots of the recordings as they played on her phone.

Enos testified that she contacted Timothy Cyckowski, the teenager sending the videos, to learn where he was. Enos’s father then relayed the information to police, who found the victim half-naked in the woods.

Cyckowski, 19, was prosecuted in juvenile court, where he pleaded guilty to several charges. His father, Matthew, 39, pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and was sentenced to probation, court records show.

According to Caramanica, the attack occurred hours after Bonia was released from Lowell Treatment Center, where she had been treated for overdosing on drugs during a suicide attempt in August 2014.

The same night, Bonia drank and took the antiseizure drug Neurontin, which “significantly worsens the effects of alcohol consumption,” Caramanica wrote.

“Although these choices were clearly Ms. Bonia’s choices, they were made at a time that her mental health and thought process were certainly at issue,” he wrote.

Since her arrest, Bonia has completed her GED, attended North Shore Community College for a semester, and worked at a farm in Middleton, where she cared for horses and cleaned stables, her lawyer wrote. The filing includes photographs of Bonia riding horses and posing with equestrian ribbons.

“She is a young lady with the potential to finish her post-high school education and the desire to work in the mental health field,” Caramanica wrote. He declined to comment on the memo.

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