Update: Texas Townsfolk Turn Out to Support Gang-Rape Suspects & Blame 11-Year-Old Girl for Heinous Assault
Residents of Cleveland, Texas turned out on Thursday night for a community meeting to discuss concerns about the police investigation into a series of sexual assaults on an 11-year-old girl. Disgustingly, many people used the gathering as a forum to blame the little girl for getting gang-raped by as many as 18 boys and young men late last year. According to the Associated Press, many locals expressed their support for the accused rapists, blaming the victim for the way she dressed and claiming she consented to the sex and probably lied about her age to her rapists. As if an 11-year-old girl could ever consent to sex or pass for legal age.
“She lied about her age. Them boys didn’t rape her. She wanted this to happen,” fumed Cleveland native Angie Woods.
Some townsfolk did speak out in defense of the victim. “She’s 11 years old. It shouldn’t have happened. That’s a child,” said 56-year-old Oscar Carter, who is related to an uncle of one of the teens charged in the case. “Somebody should have said that what we are doing is wrong.”
According to police, the girl was sexually assaulted several times last year. Each time, at least two attackers were involved. The rapes took place in an abandoned mobile home on the outskirts of the town of 7,600 people, located 40 miles northeast of Houston. Authorities began investigating the case after a schoolmate of the victim told a teacher she’d seen a cell phone video of the girl being raped. Eighteen boys and young men, ranging in age from middle school students to a 27-year-old, have been arrested.
Last night’s meeting was led by community activist Quanell X, who ignorantly questioned why the young girl didn’t report the rapes. Many rape victims, for various reasons, fail to report the crime to police. Quanell X expressed concern that only young black men had been arrested. He also said he believes some of the boys and men arrested were innocent, but not all of them. He also asked people to donate to the legal defense funds of two of the suspects.
The victim’s mother told the Houston Chronicle that Child Protective Services has placed the girl in a foster home, with limited access to her family.
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