The 15-year-old girl victimized in a gang rape that was broadcast on Facebook Live was told she could “have sex the easy way or the hard way,” thrown on a bed and was threatened to have a pit bull sicced on her if she tried to get away, a Cook County prosecutor said Tuesday.
The new details about the alleged crime came during an initial court appearance by a 15-year-old boy charged as a juvenile in the case, which has made national headlines.
The eighth-grader with a baby face turned himself in to police Monday. He faces charges of criminal sexual assault and manufacturing and distributing child pornography and was ordered at Cook County’s juvenile detention center.
A 14-year-old boy arrested in the case over the weekend faces the same charges. He too was ordered to remain in custody at a hearing Monday.
It was the 15-year-old boy’s first arrest, but the lack of a criminal history was not a “get out of jail free card,” said Cook County Judge Patricia Mendoza, who called the case “one of the most serious cases I have seen.”
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Maha Gardner said the 15-year-old, identified in court by only his initials, was with another boy — both acquaintances of the girl — when they encountered her in a neighborhood park on March 19 and lured her to a basement in Lawndale where the assault took place.
Police continue to search for others involved in the attack. At least five or six attackers participated in the assault, police have said.
Public Defender Liliana Dago said there was not enough evidence for several of the sexual assault charges because her client received oral sex from the victim but did not engage in intercourse with the girl.
Gardner said while the boy may not have had intercourse with the girl, the charges were appropriate because he was there and videotaped another person raping the girl, which under the law of accountability, allows for the charges.
“They were acting in conjunction,” Gardner said. “Under the theory of accountability, he can by all means be charged with this.”
Gardener said the girl was threatened with the release of a pit bull if she tried to get away.
The 15-year-old slapped the victim on the head while she performed oral sex on him. She also was picked up and thrown on the bed, Gardner said.
Five people appeared in court on behalf of the boy, including his mother and another woman who was identified as his guardian.
The boy, with close-cropped hair and wearing a brown sweatsuit issued by the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, was led from the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back by a Cook County Sheriff’s deputy.