Police charge man with raping woman at raucous Massachusetts concert

BOSTON Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:06am EDT

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BOSTON (Reuters) - Prosecutors have charged a Massachusetts man with raping a woman at a raucous country music concert south of Boston on Saturday where dozens of people received treatment for alcohol-related medical problems.

Police in Mansfield, Massachusetts, the site of the concert by Australian singer Keith Urban, charged Sean Murphy, 18, with raping a woman on the outdoor venue's lawn during the performance while dozens of concert-goers looked on, some taking photos of the incident.

Murphy on Tuesday pleaded not guilty and his attorney said on Wednesday that the incident was ill-advised but consensual.

"This was a consensual act, not a sexual assault. There are no allegations of force or violence against him," attorney Neil Crowley said in a statement. "Mr. Murphy deeply regrets this incident and I am sure the young woman does as well."

Police in Mansfield, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Boston, said in a statement that a female witness "pushed Murphy off the victim" and a male witness reported the incident to a police officer. Murphy was arrested at the venue, police said.

Some 22 concert-goers were taken to hospitals during the show and about 50 people were taken into protective custody.

(Editing by Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Trott)

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