NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Brooklyn prosecutors have dropped all charges against a group of black men who were accused of sexually abusing a young woman from an ultra-religious Jewish sect and forcing her to become a prostitute.
The 22-year-old Hasidic woman initially accused the men of rape, but questions were raised about whether prosecutors initially failed to turn over evidence that she had recanted part of her story.
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The case was dismissed by a Brooklyn judge Tuesday amid those questions.
Sources said the case began falling apart when information emerged from writings and statements that showed the young woman to be troubled and indicated that her accounts were unreliable.
“It left me with no other choice, but to dismiss,” District Attorney Charles Hynes said.
The case had unfolded in Crown Heights, a section of the borough that was the site of race riots involving blacks and Jews in 1991.
Women’s groups, led by Norma Ramos, said the accuser’s so-called recantation was made out of fear and coercion.
“You don’t know what kind of pressure has been brought to bear,” Ramos said.
Two defendants have been released. Two remain imprisoned on other charges.
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