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Feb 14, 2018 1:59 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Teen, Charged With Rape, Released On Bail With Supervision

Attorney Daniel Rodgers with family and friends of Bryan Siranaula outside of Suffolk County Criminal Court on Wednesday. JON WINKLER
Feb 20, 2018 8:17 PM

An East Hampton teen charged earlier this month with raping a young woman in front of a 7-year-old child in the parking lot of the Springs School was released from jail last week after his family posted $50,000 bail.

Bryan Siranaula, 18, appeared in Suffolk County Criminal Court on Wednesday, February 14, in front of Acting Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kahn, and pleaded not guilty to four felonies and four misdemeanors in connection with the February 4 incident.

At the request of his attorney, Daniel Rodgers of Southampton, Mr. Siranaula’s bail was set at $50,000 cash, which his family posted. A number of family members attended last week’s court appearance, as did about 20 of Mr. Siranaula’s friends. He had been held at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside since February 5.

East Hampton Town Police said he raped a 19-year-old acquaintance in his car in the Springs School’s rear parking lot within sight of a young relative of the victim, who saw the assault from the victim’s car, which was parked nearby.

Mr. Siranaula, who was indicted by a grand jury, is currently charged with two felony counts of rape in the first degree and two more felony charges of sexual abuse and aggravated sexual abuse, as well as assault, acting in a manner that could injure a child, criminal obstruction of breathing and criminal impersonation in the second degree, all misdemeanors. If convicted, he could face 25 years or more in prison.

While Mr. Siranaula stood motionless and almost silent throughout the court proceeding last week, Raphael Pearl of the Suffolk County district attorney’s office said he believed the evidence against him was “incredibly strong.” Along with the testimony from the victim and an apology letter that Mr. Siranaula allegedly sent to her, Mr. Pearl cited video footage from security cameras at the Springs School showing that Mr. Siranaula was in parking lot at the time of the alleged attack.

Mr. Rodgers, however, said that the victim had numerous opportunities to leave the scene and that there were no weapons used by the defendant to force the victim to stay in the parking lot.

“We feel that we have a strong defense,” Mr. Rodgers said outside the court building, surrounded by Mr. Siranaula’s friends and family members. “We have to keep in mind that when you have a young man who’s 18 years old and a high school student that has never been in trouble before in his life, and suddenly allegations like this come to light, I think everyone is shocked and surprised.

“This is not the Bryan that his family knows, this is not the Bryan that his friends know,” he continued. “It doesn’t add up.”

Erica Siranaula, the older sister of the accused, who was present for the arraignment, said her brother knows “he has a lot of supporters standing by his side.”

Mr. Pearl had originally requested $100,000 cash bail or a $200,000 bond, but Mr. Rodgers asked Justice Kahn for a more “reasonable” amount and for his client to be granted a pretrial supervised release. Mr. Siranaula must adhere to two temporary orders of protection from the victim and her young relative, along with GPS monitoring. Justice Kahn told Mr. Siranaula that if he violated any of the terms of the supervised release, he would be taken back into custody.

The Suffolk County district attorney’s office did not dismiss three original charges of rape, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child on which Mr. Siranaula had been arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court the week of his arrest.

For that reason, Mr. Rodgers said on Monday, his client remained in jail after his family posted bail while the paperwork was being processed, and he was released on Friday.

Mr. Rodgers said Mr. Siranaula was under home confinement and could not leave his family’s house in East Hampton, except for doctor’s appointments and to take care of school-related matters. Mr. Siranaula is currently a senior at East Hampton High School, and Mr. Rodgers said that he will try to arrange for a tutor to come to the Siranaula house to keep him on track for graduation.

“We’re not gonna push that button,” Mr. Rodgers said on Monday of the prospect of his client returning to the high school for classes.

Mr. Siranaula is due back in criminal court on March 21.

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