Two UAlbany students convicted of sexual misconduct in ‘Houdini’ assault

Jared Jeffrey

Jared Jeffrey

Nicholas Lange

Nicholas Lange

 

ALBANY — Two Brooklyn men who were students at the University at Albany — Jared Jeffrey, 21, and Nicholas Lange, 22 — were each sentenced in Albany County Supreme Court to six years’ probation for sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor requiring them to register as sex offenders.

They were sentenced yesterday by Judge Thomas A. Breslin based on a plea deal they reached after being charged with felony rape.

The slang term “Houdini” is used to describe their illegal acts, according to the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, which described the crime in a release: On Sept. 7, 2016, Jeffrey was engaged in sexual intercourse with a partner in the area of the Empire Commons residence when, unbeknownst to the partner, he stopped, and Lange continued in his place.

Jeffrey, Lange, and the victim were all students at the time, the release says.

The original charge against both Jeffrey and Lange was third-degree rape, a felony, said Deputy Chief Aran Mull of the University at Albany Police.

Asked why they were allowed to bargain down from a felony to a misdemeanor, Heather Orth, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, wrote in an email, “There are many reasons prosecutors offer, and judges and defendants accept plea bargains. Pleas prevent the victim from having to testify and be cross-examined in court, they save time and resources of the court and court staff and improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system.

“In this case, the court, DA’s office, and, most importantly, the victim believed that this plea bargain — requiring them to be monitored by probation for six years and then requiring them to register as sex offenders for 20 years with additional conditions placed on them — would be the most appropriate resolution to this case.”

A University at Albany spokesman, Michael Parker, said that Jeffrey and Lange were students at the time of the assault, but that they had been dismissed from the university, before the court case was resolved.

All students entering the university sign a rights-and-responsibilities contract, Parker said, including not only that they won’t commit crimes but also, for instance, that they won’t plagiarize papers, cheat on exams, or drink alcohol if they’re under 21.

Once any kind of crime is alleged to have occurred, a campus judicial process takes place, Parker said.

If it is determined that a student has violated the code of ethics, the university can take disciplinary action, he said, up to dismissal.

“We don’t need to wait for a court process to play out,” he said.

Jeffrey and Lange will register as Level-1 sex offenders, said Orth; this is the lowest of three levels for offenders deemed to have the lowest risk of reoffending. They received this designation based upon the points they scored on the risk-assessment instrument, Orth said, and they will need to register for 20 years.

 

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