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No criminal charge in college student's false rape accusation

  • Story Highlights
  • Danmell Ndonye, 18, will not face criminal charges for falsely accusing 5 men of rape
  • Ndonye must participate in yearlong psychiatric program, do community service
  • She recanted because part of the incident was caught on cell phone video
  • Hofstra University has suspended Ndonye
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Criminal charges will not be filed against the 18-year-old college freshman who falsely accused five men of raping her in a dormitory bathroom at Hofstra University, an official said Friday.

Instead, Danmell Ndonye must participate in a year-long psychiatric program and spend 250 hours in community service for lying to police about what was a consensual sexual encounter with four of the five accused men, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a written statement.

Ndonye said she did not engage in sexual activity with Rondell Bedward, the only one of the men who attends Hofstra University. He has returned to classes.

Rice said she retains the option of filing criminal charges against Ndonye if she fails to complete the course of therapy or community service.

Rice added that filing criminal charges might have made any future false accuser reluctant to recant and tell the truth, possibly leading to an innocent person serving a lengthy prison sentence.

Authorities dropped charges and freed the four men they had taken into custody after their accuser changed her story about having been tied up and sexually assaulted in a dormitory bathroom.

The woman recanted after authorities told her that part of the incident was recorded on a cell phone video, Rice said.

"That was when she began to tell the truth," she said.

It is against the law to report a crime when there was not one, the district attorney said.

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"Her actions and her demeanor depict a very troubled young woman in need of much help," Rice said.

Hofstra University has suspended Ndonye.

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