This Is How Snapchat Screenshots Helped Convict Two Attempted Rapists

by Candice Jalili

Snapchat has been a handy dandy tool in life's lesser trials and tribulations.

It lets you capture that moment of your best friend waking up still kind of drunk with last night's makeup dripping down her face in her little sister's princess-themed bedroom.

It lets you find out if your boyfriend is flirting with any other girls more regularly than he's flirting with you.

It even lets you make sure your crush saw when you were looking particularly hot that one day.

But lately, people have managed to use Snapchat to help them with some more noble pursuits. Just last week, a man used Snapchat filters to help make victims of sexual assault feel comfortable sharing their stories with the world.

And now, Snapchat's story feature has managed to help solve a rape trial.

One teen recorded and shared footage of his two friends sexually assaulting an intoxicated 16-year-old girl in the woods on his Snapchat. A teen's screenshots of these snaps helped solve the disgusting Massachusetts rape case.

Timothy Cyckowski's Snapchat story began sometime after 10:30 pm on September 3, 2014. He started recording after meeting his friends Rashad Deihim, 21, and Kailyn Bonia, 20, and a 16-year-old girl behind a Saugus, Massachusetts elementary school.

The story began with footage of Bonia and the girl kissing. According to court testimony, the girl told him to stop recording. He did not.

Luckily, the girl had some good friends like 18-year-old Sydnee Enos, who opened three videos from Cyckowski's story and decided to take screenshots as she watched.

She testified that one video featured her friend standing naked in the woods as she reached for the camera and slurred the word "stop." Next came the videos of Bonia holding her in what was described as "almost a headlock," kissing her neck and fondling her as he tried to force her to get on her knees and perform a sexual act on Deihim.

Enos did more than just take screenshots. She called Cyckowski to try to find out where the group was and went to her parents with the troubling information.

Her dad notified the police, who found the girl half-naked in the woods "literally within hours of dying" from drug and alcohol overdose, according to prosecutors. The prosecutors' claims were corroborated when an emergency-room doctor testified the girl was nearly unconscious, bruised and scraped and had to be revived with Narcan not once, but twice.

While defense lawyers argued the encounter was actually consensual, prosecutors stood by the fact the girl was too intoxicated to consent.

The girl, now 18, shared with the court the few things she could remember. She remembered bringing a vodka bottle to share with the two young men, she remembered Bonia groping her, she remembered seeing flashes and asking Cyckowski to stop taking pictures of her. She remembers being unclear on what was going on, and then finally, she remembers waking up naked and confused.

Enos' screenshots were shared with the jury along with some videos from the story obtained by prosecutors from Snapchat using a preservation order and a search warrant.

Deihim and Bonia were found guilty of multiple assault and battery, attempted rape and kidnapping this Tuesday. They will be sentenced on September 6.

Cyckowski, the guy who recorded the Snapchat story, already pleaded guilty to several charges. His dad also pleaded guilty to destroying evidence.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, the survivor's mom thanked Enos and her mother, who also testified during the trial, saying,

Sydnee is amazing... If it wasn't for her, let me tell you something, I don't think they would have found my kid. She saved my daughter's life.

Citations: A Teen's Screenshots Solved This Horrifying Snapchat Rape Trial (New York Magazine), Pair convicted in Snapchat rape (Boston Globe)