Groom sexually assaulted a bridesmaid days before getting married, police say
Eric Levenson, CNN
(CNN) — A husband-to-be allegedly sexually assaulted a “black out” drunk bridesmaid at a wedding event in the Poconos just two days before getting married, according to court documents.
The incident stems from a pre-wedding party on August 30, when the wedding party and friends spent an afternoon rafting, paddling and drinking on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The victim, a 29-year-old woman, told investigators she became “heavily intoxicated” on the rafting trip, according to the affidavit. When she came to, she realized her bathing suit bottom was off and the groom was on top of her in a men’s locker room, the affidavit says. The bride then walked into the locker room, leading to a fight between her and her future husband, the affidavit says.
Daniel J. Carney, 28, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, has been charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse as well as misdemeanor assault and indecent assault, according to Monroe County court documents.
The Pennsylvania State Police investigated and filed the charges based on interviews with the victim and the suspect, text messages from Carney and an intercepted phone call between the two.
CNN affiliate WNEP reported Carney was arraigned Monday and released on $100,000 unsecured bail.
CNN has called a number connected to Carney but has been unable to speak with him. An attorney for Carney did not immediately respond to a call and an email seeking comment.
According to the affidavit, investigators interviewed Carney on September 2, and he claimed that he was very drunk that night and felt she took advantage of him. He initially said that she had followed him into the locker room after he said he was going to shower, but he later acknowledged that he had grabbed her and pulled her into the room, the affidavit says.
Despite the incident, the bride and groom got married on September 1, WNEP reported.
Calls to phone numbers connected to Carney’s wife were not returned.
What the affidavit says
The investigation started when the bridesmaid went to a hospital on September 2 and reported she’d been sexually assaulted, the affidavit said. State police were notified.
The woman told investigators she recalled drinking too much on the river and kept falling off a paddle board, so her friends placed her in a raft for her own safety, the affidavit said. When the wedding group arrived at their destination, the Shawnee Inn at the village of Shawnee on Delaware, she was unable to stand on her own, the affidavit says.
The bridesmaid said she learned the bride-to-be told Carney to help walk the bridesmaid to the parking lot, the affidavit says. The bridesmaid told police she recalled being led away from the water but did not know what happened until she woke up in the men’s locker room at the inn, the affidavit says.
She told investigators she woke up as Carney was grabbing her head and body, the affidavit says. She said she blacked out again and woke with her bathing suit bottoms off and her legs pushed back with Carney on top of her, she told investigators.
The bride then entered the locker room and began screaming at him, the affidavit says. He later got into a physical altercation with her in the parking lot, the affidavit says.
That night and the next day was “chaos” among the wedding party, the bridesmaid told police. She said she had little recollection of the incident, but she did not believe Carney’s story that she had “followed him” into the locker room, the affidavit says.
The next day, Saturday, the woman said Carney called and apologized, saying he didn’t know what they did, according to the affidavit. She said she felt “extremely violated and upset,” the affidavit states.
The State Police investigator said he obtained surveillance footage that showed the woman and Carney walking down the hallway at the inn, and she appears extremely unsteady and swaying, the affidavit says. Before reaching the doorway, Carney allegedly turns around and then pulls the victim into the locker room, according to the affidavit. About 20 minutes later, Carney’s wife enters the room, and Carney exits shortly thereafter.
‘I wanted to apologize again’
On Sunday, the morning of the wedding, the woman received a text from Carney apologizing, according to the affidavit.
“I wanted to apologize again for everything. Can we please just be as happy as possible for (the bride) today? Mistakes are behind us and I just need total closure before I do this why i’m sending this. I’m as happy as ever to marry (her),” he allegedly wrote.
He also allegedly asked her to take Plan B, the emergency contraceptive.
“We never did do it but would you consider taking plan b to make damn certain just in case? There is almost no chance but still. Please tell me yes i’m begging you,” he allegedly wrote.
The affidavit says the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office gave investigators permission on September 2 to intercept a phone call between Carney and the woman, the affidavit says. In the call, Carney allegedly admitted that he began feeling her genitals with his hands, the affidavit said.
“He stated that they did not have actual sex, but repeatedly told her he was sorry, specifically repeating that it was all his fault,” the affidavit states.