Watch CBS News

William Paterson University Students Plead Not Guilty To Sex Assault Charges

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Five local college students facing sexual assault charges pleaded not guilty Tuesday, after allegations that they attacked a female student at William Paterson University.

The suspects, who are all 18-year-old freshmen, are accused of attacking a freshman in her residence hall on the Wayne campus, CBS2's Christine Sloan reported.

The college students appeared nervous as they stood before a judge and entered their pleas. Cameras were present in court.

According to court papers, the suspects blocked a doorway, restrained the woman and demanded she have sex with all five of them, CBS2 reported.

5 William Paterson University Students Accused Of Sex Assault Due In Court

Jahmel Latimer, of Hoboken, faces the most serious charges -- aggravated sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping, 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.

"He maintains his innocence, and the bail was reduced by the state based on the fact that they're looking at the case," Ronald Ricci, Latimer's lawyer, told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond. "All the kids have no record. They're all good kids, and they're from good families."

Four others -- Darius Singleton, of Jersey City; Garret Collick, of Paterson; Noah Williams, of Camden; and Tremaine Scott, of Vineland -- face a number of charges including conspiracy, criminal restraint and aggravated sexual assault.

Dozens of supporters packed the courtroom, and more stood outside as the suspects were arraigned Tuesday at Passaic County Courthouse. The judge agreed to reduce the bail for each from $200,000 to $50,000.

William Paterson University Students Plead Not Guilty To Sex Assault Charges

Leslie Ferguson, whose daughter is a student at the university, was at the courthouse to support the accused.

"As far as the victim is concerned, we are concerned for her also, but we just would like for everything to be investigated and looked into more because they're very intelligent young men," Ferguson said. "I don't think they would (be) involved with something like this."

And the mother of one suspect, who did not wish to speak on camera, told CBS2's Sloan privately that she was devastated but believes her son.

So did dozens of fellow students who packed the courtroom.

"They're really good boys. They're really good boys, you know -- they laugh, they joke," said student Kendra Garland. "They never hurt anybody. They're respectful."

But the alleged incident has also left many students at the university angry and demanding answers.

"Stuff like that just doesn't happen at William Paterson," one student said.

"This is a community school. It's a good school. Good people go here. Things like this just don't happen here," another student said. "If this is true, I want all the evidence so I can know what I'm dealing with as a young female, as a young woman who goes to this school."

University President Kathleen Waldron sent a message to all students, saying in part that her deepest concern was with the alleged victim who has courageously come forward.

For now, the suspects have been banned from the college and from being anywhere near the victim.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.