Police arrest 16 in gang rape of 11-year-old girl in Cleveland, TexasMarch 9th, 2011 - 4:39 pm ICT by ANI
New York, Mar 9 (ANI): At least 16 people, ranging in age from 14 to 27, have been arrested in connection with the nightmarish gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in Texas.
The incident, which had taken place in the small town of Cleveland, 50 miles northeast of Houston, came to light after a video, taken during the rape, went viral.
“There have been leads during our investigation that have alerted us to other possible persons of interest,” the New York Daily News quoted Cleveland Assistant Police Chief Darrell Broussard as telling CNN.
“The investigation is ongoing,” he stated.
The girl, whose name has not been released because of her age, told police at least 20 people attacked her last Thanksgiving. The vicious assault was caught on camera and video, authorities said.
The macabre attack began when 19-year-old Timothy Ellis lured the girl out of her home and asked if she wanted to go “riding around”, according to a police officer’s statement obtained by the Houston Chronicle.
Cops said he took her to an empty house and forced her to strip under threat of violence. Several other men showed up and each raped her.
They then took the 11-year-old to an abandoned trailer, where they continued to have sex with her, as well as use cell phones to take pictures and record video.
“These guys knew she was in middle school. You could tell whenever you talked to her. She still loves stuffed teddy bears,” the girl’s mother, identified only as Maria, said.
The video, which quickly went viral, sparked arrests after the teens in it were recognized by fellow students. The victim, described as a troubled young girl, was also recognized by several people.
A judge has placed a gag order on the case, and police have requested the girl’s family to “relocate” as the tension is rising in the town of 9,000.
Maria said she had received repeated, angry phone calls from people looking for the girl, who has been placed in foster care and hasn’t been allowed to see her family.
“The police think we may be in danger, because if they can’t get my 11-year-old, they might take out their revenge on us,” Maria added. (ANI)
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