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Philadelphia judge turns down charges of prostitute raping

Dismission of charges against a group of men accused of raping a prostitute excited fury.

"She consented and she didn't get paid," Judge Teresa Carr Deni told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I thought it was a robbery."

Deni dropped the rape and sexual-assault charges at an Oct. 4 hearing. The woman had testified that she went to a North Philadelphia home in September to meet a man, but that three other men showed up and she was forced at gunpoint to have sex with all of them for free.

Philadelphia's main legal association blasted Deni's ruling, saying the judge does not understand Pennsylvania's rape law.

"Even though the woman is a prostitute, it doesn't mean she couldn't be a victim," Chancellor Jane Leslie Dalton of the Philadelphia Bar Association said Wednesday. "Once she says 'No, it's not OK,' then to have sex with her is rape."

Deni dismissed rape and sexual-assault charges while upholding conspiracy, robbery, false imprisonment and other charges against Dominique Gindraw, the man who held a gun to the victims' head. The other men have not yet been identified or charged.

A bar association committee had recently given Deni high marks for her work and recommended that voters support her in a Nov. 6 judicial retention election.

Deni did not immediately return a phone message left at her office Wednesday.