Five plead not-guilty to sexual assault at Westmoreland house party


WESTMORELAND, N.Y. (WKTV) - Five men from the Westmoreland area, ranging from 16 years old to 20, were arraigned in Westmoreland Town Court on Wednesday afternoon on charges that included sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child.

The charges stem from a December 4 house party in Westmoreland where the five are accused of sexually assaulting a 15 year old victim.

John Becker, 18; Aaron Dashnaw, 17; Devon Williams, 16; Sean O'Brien, 20 and Marvin Sherman III, 18 all entered not-guilty pleas on Wednesday in Westmoreland Town Court.

Tammy Townsend, the mother of the 15-year-old was in court where she said her daughter, who had to get away from Westmoreland School, is now staying with a relative downstate, trying to put her life back together.

"My daughter is ripped apart," Townsend said. "Her life is just totally flipped upside down. She's such a happy go lucky good hearted little girl. It's not something any 15 year old should have to deal with."

Tina Williams, mother of one of the five male defendants, was also charged with six counts of unlawfully dealing with a child. She also entered a not-guilty plea in court.

All six are due back in Westmoreland Town Court at the end of March.

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