Two men accused of sexually assaulting a woman in D.C. on New Year's Eve appeared in court Thursday morning.
The two young defendants, 26-year-old Matthew Maldonado and 21-year-old Nicholas Schultz, walked into the courtroom wearing orange jump suits and shackles.
The prosecutor extended a pre-indictment plea offer but also asked for a continuance to better explore and analyze the video tape that apparently shows the alleged rape.
"We believe the real story will come out in the days and weeks to follow," said defense attorney Mark Emden. "We are just getting started with the case and we are taking very seriously."
The two men are accused of repeatedly raping a 20-year-old Fairfax woman as she fell in and out of consciousness inside the parking garage of St. Matthews Cathedral downtown. Both men were initially charged with second degree sexual abuse.
During this court proceeding, Maldonado's mother, from across the room, mouthed to her son "I love you."
The judge accepted the continuance but not before adding a charge of 1st degree sexual abuse. Both defendants are due back in court next week.
"My son is innocent," said Maldonado's mother. "I have no faith in the judicial system; I just leave it up to God."
According to court documents, the two men and the woman know each other from the Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts School in Camps Springs where they trained. All three left the same bar together on New Year's Eve.
The victim, who police say was intoxicated, was allegedly lured into the parking garage.
According to court records, a surveillance camera captured the alleged rape. The victim was allegedly left beaten and battered on the cold pavement. A passerby later heard her cries for help.
For the first time, the victim spoke out through the Network for Victim Recovery of D.C.: "The survivor wishes to thank the members of the community and friends who have offered their thoughts and prayers throughout this trying time."
Lloyd Irvin, the owner of Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts School, issued this statement:
"We are so concerned about the victim's well-being and we are talking to her about what we can do to support her during this traumatic time. But she is strong, a wonderful young lady, and we are confident she will get through this period and move on with her life. She is eager to start training with us and we are going to be there for her in any way that we can."