It’s hard to know which is more revolting — that four men brutally gang-raped a 19-year-old woman in broad daylight or that a crowd of spectators numbering in the hundreds looked on impassively while the assault was taking place. (A runner-up in the revulsion department is that one onlooker made a cell phone recording of the attack except that it provides authorities with material evidence of the crime.) The assault took place last month in Panama City, Fla., during spring break. Two of the suspects, now in police custody, were students at Troy University in Alabama.
From NBC affiliate WSFA:
Law enforcement in Bay County, FL, have charged Delonte’ Martistee, 22, of Bainbridge, GA, and Ryan Austin Calhoun, 23, of Mobile, with sexual battery by multiple perpetrators.
Troy University officials confirmed Martisee and Calhoun were suspended. Martistee was also removed from the Troy track team.
Florida authorities thanked the Troy Police Department for helping uncover the case and catch the suspects. Troy police were investigating a shooting in Troy when they discovered video on a suspect’s cell phone of what appeared to be a gang rape during spring break.
Police say they are searching for two additional suspects in the case.
According to AL.com, the victim, whose name has been withheld, appeared to be unconscious when the assault took place. Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said he is incredulous that not one of the hundreds of bystanders tried to intervene or notified the authorities. He told reporters:
Within 10 feet from where this is happening there are hundreds, hundreds of people standing there watching, looking, seeing, hearing what is going on, and yet our culture and our society and our young people have got to the point where obviously this is acceptable somewhere, but I will tell you it is not acceptable in Bay County.