Two days before the wedding, the groom-to-be allegedly sexually assaulted a drunk bridesmaid. The next day, the groom claimed that she initiated the encounter. And on wedding day, the groom texted her an apology while asking her to “take the Plan B” and “be as happy as possible” for the bride. Oh, and they got married anyway.
On August 30, Daniel J. Carney and his wedding party spent the afternoon drinking, rafting, and paddle-boarding on the Delaware River in eastern Pennsylvania. The party floated downstream and returned to their hotel, and that’s when Carney’s bride-to-be asked him to walk her friend inside – one of the bridesmaids had gotten too drunk to keep her balance. The Morning Call reported that the drunk bridesmaid swayed and struggled to stay upright as Carney walked her down the hallway.
As Carney helped the intoxicated woman inside at the Shawnee Inn in Monroe County, they somehow ended up in the men’s locker room. There were two completely different versions of what happened next. But the Pennsylvania State Police leaned towards the facts. After all, stories can be told in different ways, which can get confusing. But security footage, text history, and phone calls don’t lie.
The woman told the state police that she was “blackout drunk” and could remember only snippets of the night, not recalling much of the alleged assault. But she was certain she had been violated. She remembered waking up briefly on the floor of the locker room to a sharp pain as Carney bit her and pawed at her body, allegedly. The drunk bridesmaid passed out again. Minutes later, she realized her bikini bottoms had been removed, and Carney was on top of her on the locker room’s floor.
Whereas Carney allegedly told his guests that the woman had “followed him” into the locker room after he said he was going to shower. The Washington Post reported that he later told a state trooper he was extremely drunk and felt she had “taken advantage” of him.
“It was chaos amongst the entire wedding party,” the woman told police. According to the police report, Carney called her the next morning to apologize but claimed he didn’t know what they had done the night before. And on the morning of the wedding, he texted again, asking her to put on a happy face and take the emergency morning-after contraceptive pill “just in case.”
“I wanted to apologize again for everything,” he wrote in a lengthy message. “Can we please just be as happy as possible for [the bride] today? Mistakes are behind us and I just need total closure before I do this [that is] why I’m sending this. I’m as happy as ever to marry [the bride] and I know this is terrible as well but my d— was out in the shower. We never did do it but would you consider taking plan b to make damn certain just in case? There is almost no chance but still. Please tell me yes I’m begging you.”
The wedding went on. But the woman went to the hospital to report that she had been sexually assaulted. She told police she felt “extremely violated and upset.” Police investigation ensued, and a clearer picture of the incident began to emerge after the state police pulled security footage from the hotel.
“The footage showed the victim and the accused walking down the hallway, with the victim extremely unsteady on her feet and swaying,” state trooper Justin Leri wrote in a police report. “Just before the doorway, the accused is observed turning around and pulling the victim into the locker room.”
It seemed that Carney suddenly dragged the drunk bridesmaid into the locker room, where he forcibly grabbed her, bit her, and removed her bottoms. Twenty minutes later, police say, his fiancee bursted into the men’s showers. The victim told the police that her friend immediately started screaming at the groom. Court records revealed that the bride followed him into the parking lot and the two got into a physical fight. The records also revealed that on Thursday, prosecutors charged Carney, 28, with felony sexual assault.
Pennsylvania State Police said that security footage, text messages, and the intercepted phone call were all part of the evidence that supported the bridesmaid’s sexual assault allegation. After police reviewed the video, Carney changed his story to admit that he’d grabbed the woman by the arms and pulled her into the locker room. Police then intercepted a second phone call between Carney and the bridesmaid, in which he “repeatedly told her he was sorry, specifically repeating that it was all his fault,” but insisted they didn’t have “actual sex.”
Carney is charged with simple assault, indecent assault, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of an unconscious person.