BAY COUNTY, Fla. – Two college students were arrested after police found cell phone video allegedly showing the gang rape of an intoxicated teen outside a popular Panama City Beach bar during spring break.
Hundreds stood by in “broad, open daylight” as the 19-year-old woman, who appeared to be passed out on a chair behind the Spinnaker Beach Club, was sexually assaulted by one man after another, Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen told AL.com.
Many watched, some recording with their phones — but no one tried to intervene, officials said.
Police found the video on a witness’ phone while investigating a shooting in Troy, Alabama, and turned it over to Panama City investigators. Two Troy University students who allegedly appeared in the gang rape video, 23-year-old Ryan Austin Calhoun, of Mobile, Ala., and 22-year-old Delonte Martistee, of Bainbridge, Ga., now face charges of sexual battery by multiple perpetrators.
“Our culture and our society and our young people have got to the point where obviously this is acceptable somewhere, but I will tell you it is not acceptable in Bay County,” McKeithen told the paper, saying the video was “probably one of the most disgusting, repulsive, sickening things that I have seen this year on Panama City Beach, and I have seen a lot of them.”
Police tracked down the victim, but she told detectives she didn’t remember anything the next day and thinks she may have been drugged.
Panama City Beach has long been a destination for spring break revelers, but authorities are fed up with the spike in criminal activity that comes from hosting the hordes of party-goers. One official at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office compared spring break to a cancerous “tumor” that can spread to the rest of the body, affecting residents and local businesses.
Sheriff McKeithen said the investigation continues, and that additional arrests are expected.