The criminal case of Wharton sophomore Dante Benitez and College sophomore Ivan Loginov arrived at a temporary standstill earlier this month.
Both Benitez and Loginov were accused of assaulting Wharton sophomore Max Arias, who suffered a concussion and multiple fractures after an altercation in the Quad on April 8. (Benitez and Loginov each also claimed that they incurred injuries.) They were charged with conspiracy to commit simple assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. Benitez and his lawyer, James Funt, have claimed that Benitez and Loginov were defending a female friend from sexual assault on that controversial April night.
On Oct. 4, Loginov had his application approved to join an Accelerated Rehabilitation Diversion program, which the presiding district attorney can offer to first-time offenders, and which will prevent the case from proceeding on into a full criminal trial.
This verdict comes after Loginov and Benitez first appeared before Philadelphia’s Municipal Court Criminal Division at the Criminal Justice Center on Sept. 18.
Defendants receiving an ARD program are able to avoid jail time if they pay a program cost and comply with a series of conditions imposed by the court while serving probation for a set period of time. In Pennsylvania, that period cannot exceed two years. If a participant successfully completes the program without violating its conditions, the judge may expunge their record.
Defendants do not have to plead guilty to enroll in the program, according to Criminal Defense Attorney Lawrence Dworkin on the website for his criminal defense law firm.
Recent court dockets reveal that Benitez was also admitted into an ARD program on Oct. 4.
"Dante entered into the ARD program, and after one year all the charges against him will be dismissed. In fact, all records of this arrest will be destroyed," Funt wrote in an email. "Dante is thrilled to have this matter firmly behind him, and he is eager to move on with his education and his career. In fact, we have every reason to believe that he will soon be returning to the Wharton community."
Arias and Loginov's attorney, Brian McMonagle, did not respond to requests for comment.
Benitez and Loginov were initially charged with first-degree felony accounts of aggravated assault and burglary and a second-degree felony count of criminal trespassing into a structure. These charges were dismissed at the preliminary hearing Aug. 17 for lack of evidence.
University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy said the two students are still not enrolled at Penn.
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