The 14-year-old Liberian refugee boy
who together with three other children raped an 8-year-old Liberian girl
earlier this month in Phoenix, Arizona is awaiting trial after being charged as
The case generated enormous international outrage after it was
reported that the little girl’s parents and relatives blamed her for bringing
shame to the family.
Even Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has had to
step in to say that the 8-year-old girl’s parents were wrong for blaming her.
Phoenix Police Officer Sergeant Andy Hill who investigated the initial rape
allegations said it was one of the most horrific
cases he has ever seen.
this point the Phoenix Police Department’s job in this investigation is pretty
much done for now. We have turned everything over to the Maricopa County
attorney’s office which is the prosecuting authority. And we did that after we
detained the four suspects in this case,” he said.
said police investigators still have some work to do on the case, including
completing their forensic analysis.
published reports, the police said the boys lured the girl to an empty shed on
July 16 under the pretense of offering her gum. They then held the girl down
while they took turns assaulting her.
Hill described the case as a horrible tragedy.
have an 8-year-old girl who was victimized. We have four children who were
arrested with charges involving sexual assault and kidnapping in this case. And
at this point for law enforcement, we have to go over the facts which we have
done,” Hill said.
said the nature of the case rises to international level because it involves an
alleged child victim and alleged child perpetrators.
Hill confirmed the 14-year-old was charged as an adult with two counts of
sexual assault and kidnapping while the other boys – ages 9, 10 and 13 – were
charged as juveniles with sexual assault.
of the suspects has been charged as an adult by the Maricopa County attorney’s
office. And that was the result of them reviewing the information. So that is
something that the prosecutors decide on,” Hill said.
said his investigation found that the family had blamed and shunned the
8-year-old girl for bringing shame to the family.
don’t know what the traditions are and I would not try to speak to cultural
traditions. But what I can speak to is what happened in this incident. And in
this particular incident the family said they were ashamed of their child and
they were not supportive of her. They blamed the little girl for what happened, and
as a result of that Child Protective Services took the action that they did,”
In a phone interview on CNN last week, Liberian
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf disagreed with the parents of the 8-year-old
said rape is a crime that is no longer acceptable in Liberia and that
perpetrators, when caught, are punished severely.