Update March 27th, 2010: Oldest of the boys charged will go to juvenile justice system for therapy, here.
Update November 24th: Girl’s parents arrested, here.
Update August 14th: Language problems confuse investigation, here.
Update August 3rd: Oldest of 4 boys indicted, here.
Update August 1st: More here from Phyllis Chesler—Obama agreed to let them stay for another year.
Update July 27th: Their violent country made them do it, here.
Here is the whole story from CNN that reader Susan sent yesterday:
(CNN) — Four boys ages 9 to 14 have been charged with sexually assaulting an 8-year old girl, police in Phoenix, Arizona, said Wednesday.
The girl was lured into a vacant storage shed by the suspects, who offered her chewing gum, police said at a news conference.
The girl was restrained while the boys — ages 9, 10, 13 and 14 — sexually assaulted her, police said of the July 16 incident.
All the suspects except for the 14-year-old live in the same apartment complex, according to Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill. The 14-year-old has been charged as an adult, Hill said.
Detectives said the girl was placed in the custody of Phoenix child protective services after the attack because of her parents’ attitude toward her.
The girl and the boys charged are all from families that have come to the United States from the West African nation of Liberia, police said.
Now before readers bombard me with comments about how American boys could just as well take an 8-year-old to a vacant shed and rape her, there is more. The girl’s family, saying she shamed them, does not want her back! She is now in the custody of child protective services. From KPHO-TV Phoenix:
The outrage over the allegations has intensified when police said the girl’s parents criticized her after the attack and blamed her for bringing shame on the family.
“The father told the case worker and an officer in her presence that he didn’t want her back. He said ‘Take her, I don’t want her,'” Hill said.
Hill cited the family’s background as the reason the family shunned the girl. All five children are refugees from the West African nation of Liberia.
In some parts of Africa, women often are blamed for being raped for enticing men or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Girls who are raped often are shunned by their families.
“It’s a shame-based culture, so the crime is not as important as protecting the family name and the name of the community,” said Tony Weedor, a Liberian refugee in Littleton, Colo., and co-founder of the CenterPoint International Foundation, which helps Liberians resettle in the United States.
“I just feel so sorry for this little girl,” he said. “Some of these people will not care about the trauma she’s going through — they’re more concerned about the shame she brought on the family.”
More details are coming out this morning, here.
This is a heinous practice we are well aware of with followers of Islam—-blaming the rape victim. But these Liberians are likely not Muslims, so I was interested to learn that this cultural problem was coming into the US with other refugee cultures as well.
Why so many Liberians in the US when that country is pretty stable now?
Apparently we have a category for temporary asylum (for humanitarian purposes!) and we brought thousands of Liberians here years ago. In February, I reported that many where supposed to be deported to Liberia by March 31st, but a public relations campaign, spearheaded by Senator Jack Reed of one of America’s highest unemployment states, Rhode Island, was waged to keep them here. Guess he won. We lost.