The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

A history of violent events on campus

Last Thursday’s alleged rape of an 18-year-old freshman girl in DaSilva Hall is not the first time St. John’s has experienced sex crimes and criminal incidents in the Residence Village. The following is a summary of those events


March 1990


Three male St. John’s students were charged in a 28-count indictment for sexually assaulting and sodomizing a 21-year-old female student. Two of the males who took part in the incident, which occurred in a shared off-campus house on March 1, 1990, were members of the school’s lacrosse team. Three more students, six in total, were later indicted.

The woman alleged she was forced to perform oral sex and was otherwise abused.

The University did not report the incident immediately. The girl did not come forward until March 16 and the University stated that it wanted to respect the privacy of the victim, who was reluctant to talk to police.

On July 23, 1990, Walter Gabrinowitz, Matthew Grandinetti, and Andrew Draghi, all of Bethpage, were acquitted of all the charges.

The University suspended each of the students in May and later expelled them in August.

Michael Calandrillo, also of Bethpage, Adam Gerber, of South Salem and a Joseph Reilly were not acquitted.

Reilly pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse and testified against Gabrinowitz, Grandinetti, and Draghi. Gerber pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault and admitted to touching the girls breast. Calandrillo pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of sexual misconduct and unlawful imprisonment.


October 1991


Keith Howie, 21, of Elmhurst, was charged with raping a St. John’s student after a trip to a basketball game got out of hand.

According to Assistant District Attorney Therese Lendino, Howie asked the victim, a 17-year-old freshman, to meet him at Alumni Hall. The two watched a basketball game and then went to talk after the game. Howie began kissing and fondling the woman in an upper-level stairwell. The defendant than pressed the woman up against the wall and proceeded to rape her on the floor.

Police said the two had known each other for three weeks.

Howie’s family claimed he was on campus to see his wife, another St. John’s student. Though he claimed the girl consented to having sex, Howie was convicted of rape in the first degree, two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and unlawful imprisonment in the second degree.


November 2002


Former St. John’s basketball player Grady Reynolds, 22, was arrested for allegedly assaulting St. John’s swimmer Rachel Seager, 20, in a fifth-floor Hollis Hall suite.

Seager told police he grabbed her, picked her up off the ground and threw her against a wall. She hit her head against the wall and her knee against the sink, dislocating her knee cap. Reynolds faced charges of third-degree assault and second-degree harassment.

After an eight-month legal process, Reynolds agreed to a settlement that required him to attend five anger management classes, participate in five days of community service and keep out of contact with Seager until Oct. 29, 2003.

Reynolds later was involved with the basketball team’s sex scandal in 2003 and was subsequently expelled.



Compiled with Newsday and Torch sources.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *