Four boys between the ages of 9 and 14 are in police custody after they allegedly raped an 8-year-old girl.
The boys, ages 9, 10, and 13 are being detained at the Juvenile Corrections Center. The 14-year-old, Steven Tuopeh, has been remanded as an adult
The rape happened about 5:15 p.m. July 16 in a toolshed near 45th Ave and Thomas. Police say the girl was lured into the shed with the promise of chewing gum
. The boys allegedly restrained her while taking turns sexually assaulting her.
Phoenix Police held a press conference 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to announce the arrests. According to police, the victim and the suspects are all from Liberia, west Africa
, and appeared to have known each other.
The child is currently in Child Protective Services having been disowned by her parents
after the assault. Detectives say her parents blame her for being victimized and bringing shame to their family.
All the suspects have admitted their involvement in the sexual assault.
The 9-year-old is facing one count of sexual assault, the 10-year-old is facing charges of kidnapping and 2 counts of sexual assault, the 13-year-old is facing kidnapping and 3 counts of sexual assault, and Tuopeh is facing kidnapping and 2 counts of sexual assault.