Modified: March 11, 2016 8:17pm
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty announces that Daqwan Morris a/k/a “Snook J with the AK”, Shameek Young, a/k/a “Face”, and Paul Brown a/k/a “PaulOut” have been sentenced for their roles in a vicious 2014 gang rape of a single victim on Buffalo’s east side.
Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case sentenced 18-year old Morris to 7 years in prison followed by 7 years post-release supervision, 18-year old Young received 9 years in prison followed by 7 years post-release supervision, and 18-year old Brown was sentenced one and a third to four years in prison.
Morris, a self-identified member of the “Zelmer Boys” street gang, was convicted of one count of Rape in the First Degree and one count of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, Young was convicted of two counts of Rape in the First Degree and three counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, and Brown was convicted of one count of the Rape in the First Degree. All counts are class “B” violent sexual felonies. These were the highest charges for which each defendant could have been convicted after trial.
Two other men, Dequan Rosenthal and Cornelius Caddele, also participated in the gang rape. They each pleaded guilty on prior occasions for their role in the crimes. Young, Brown, Caddele, and Rosenthal all identify as “Grimmie Gang” members.
In the summer of 2014, Daqwan Morris invited the victim to his house. Soon after arriving, Morris and Rosenthal physically overpowered the victim, simultaneously raping and sodomizing her. Over the next almost four hours, the defendants kept the victim in a third floor attic, each taking turns raping and sodomizing her, while the others laughed at and mocked her. Portions of many of the crimes were video recorded by the defendants, and shared with others on Facebook and Twitter.
Acting District Attorney Flaherty stated, “Rape is a crime of secrecy and cowardice. Thanks to the courage and strength of the victim, a methodical and unrelenting investigation succeeded in bringing all of the perpetrators, four of whom were complete strangers to the victim, to justice.”
A major breakthrough in the case occurred when it was discovered that a cell phone used to record several of the crimes had been in the possession of a local attorney for several months.
Investigators obtained the phone after a judge ordered the attorney to turn over the phone, and found extensive video footage of the crimes still saved on it.
Acting District Attorney Flaherty made special mention of the investigative efforts of Buffalo Police Detective Judy Walker, whose work was critical to securing convictions against all five defendants.
Assistant District Attorney Ryan Haggerty prosecuted the case.