Court to Hear MIT Assault Case

The attorney for a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student who last month allegedly kidnapped and attempted to rape an Arlington woman said yesterday that in fact the woman attacked the student first with a razor blade and slashed his throat.

MIT sophomore Thomas S. Kang has since recovered and is free on his own recognizance following the August 9 struggle. He is awaiting a preliminary hearing in the Middlesex County Superior Court, said Kang's lawyer, William P. Homans, Jr. '41.

Maria Foppiano, 21, charged that Kang attacked her from behind on the Harvard Bridge at 2:30 a.m. She alleges the MIT sophomore grabbed her and forced her to walk to Lindstrom Park at the corner of Memorial Drive and Brookline Street in Cambridge, approximately a mile and a quarter away. Once there, Foppiano charges, Kang attempted to rape her.

Cambridge Police Lt. Calvin Kantor said Foppiano "had a pocketbook with her, and she told him she had a bottle of vodka inside and suggested they stop and take a drink. So they did, and she reached inside the pocketbook and pulled out a razor and sliced his throat," according to a published report in the Boston Globe.

Foppiano alleges that the MIT student grabbed the razor and cut her face before she was able to break free. She later flagged down a car and told police of the incident in Central Square.

However, Kang has since filed countercharges that allege Foppiano had been the aggressor in the incident. In statements to the police while he was in the hospital, Kang said that Foppiano attempted to cut his throat in the park after the two had met on the bridge in what his attorney called "a friendly encounter."

According to Homans, Kang had been drinking at his MIT fraternity, Delta Upsilon in Boston, when he decided to cross the Harvard Bridge to get $10 from an automated teller machine on the Cambridge side of the Charles River to buy a pizza. He had gotten the money and was headed back to Boston when he encountered Foppiano head-on, Homans said. He said Kang was not intoxicated.

The pair talked and then walked together back over to the Cambridge side of the river to the park, where Kang claims Foppiano attacked him. Homans said Kang said he never cut Foppiano, and the attorney speculated that perhaps her injuries were self-inflicted.

After the incident, bleeding from the throat, Kang turned back and walked a mile to 77 Massachusetts Ave. where he saw an MIT policeman, Homans said. Kang asked the officer for help shortly before Cambridge police reports for his arrest were issued over the radio.

Kang was taken by the officer and then an ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital. He underwent surgery for internal injuries and remained in the hospital for eight days, his attorney said.

Court records show that police that evening found Foppiano in possession of cocaine and charged her September 1 with a Class B misdemeanor of possession without intent of distribution.

After Kang filed charges against Foppiano, the Middlesex District Attorney's office gained a continuance from Judge Wendy Gershengorn who postponed the hearing until October 7.

Neither Kane nor her attorney, David Davis, could be reached for comment yesterday. Odin Anderson, partner of the firm which employs Davis, said however that it was a "delicate stage of this case."

Thomas Samoluk, spokesman for the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, which is representing Foppiano on the rape charges, said he could not comment on the status of the case yesterday.

Kang is enrolled at MIT as a civil engineering student. His family lives in Colorado Springs, Colo.