Teenagers who gang raped girl at gunpoint will be charged as adults

Three Chicago teenagers who gang raped a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint and then posted video footage on Facebook will be charged as adults, according to the Huffington Post.

The teens — Justin Applewhite, 16, Kenneth Brown, 15, and Scandale Fritz, 16 — each face one count of aggravated criminal sexual assaults and are each being held on $900,000 bond. The grisly details of the rape, which occurred on Dec. 15 in Fritz’ home, can be found in the original Chicago Tribune report.

The day after the assault, the young victim went to the hospital and reported her rape to the police. On Dec. 17, the three assailants shared the video footage on each of their Facebook pages.

Although the assault happened in December, the three teens weren’t arrested until May — as The Tribune notes in the last paragraph of its article, “It was not known why it took until May to charge the three teens.” Why did it take so long when the three rapists posted evidence of their crimes publicly?

The assailants are due back in court June 6.

This case is eerily similar to the Stuebenville rape case, in which two high school football stars were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl several times throughout a night of partying last August. In that case, prosecutors largely relied on evidence from social media posts throughout the night to piece together what had happened, since the victim had no memory of the assault. The two rapists, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, were both found guilty in May.

The Steubenville and Chicago cases show an alarming trend in which teenagers not only think sexual assault is OK, but it’s something to be proud of — so much so that the rapists are sharing what they did with the world on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This rape didn’t take place on a college campus, but it’s an important example of why sexual assault prevention education needs to start before college — from the looks of these cases, it should start in middle school.

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