Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Not something you read everyday

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Two women, including a Smith College student, pleaded innocent to charges they raped and handcuffed another female student and slashed her with knives.

Rachel Ann Klobertanz, 22, and Augusta Claire Kendall, 22, were ordered held on $25,000 bail at their arraignment Tuesday in Northampton District Court. Both were charged with two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault and battery.

Prosecutor Susan Loehn said the three women first met at a downtown Northampton bar. They then went back to Klobertanz and Kendall's apartment, where they drank several bottles of champagne and engaged in sex that began as consensual but ended as rape, Loehn said.

"There are some significant issues with respect to consent," said David Roundtree, who represents Kendall. He described Kendall as having a 3.0 grade-point average at Smith.

Thomas Estes, who represents Klobertanz, said both the women maintain the sex with the 20-year-old woman was consensual.

Loehn said it was not the first time women have been charged with rape in Northampton, but the case was unusual because of the level of violence involved.