A 14-year-old boy has been charged with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in North Lawndale that was streamed live on Facebook, and Chicago Police say they have a warrant for the arrest of another teenager.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson and a group of Chicago police officers discussed the charges at a press conference Sunday, where officers said they expect several more arrests will be made. Officers first announced the arrest of the 14-year-old on Saturday.
“They should be ashamed of themselves. They’ve humiliated themselves, humiliated their families, and now they’re going to be held accountable for what they did,” Johnson said.
Officials said the girl was “lured” into the home of one of the offenders in the city’s North Lawndale neighborhood and the attack was streamed live on Facebook with at least 40 people watching – none of them called 911.
“It just disgusts me that people would look at those videos and not pick up the phone and dial 911. It makes you wonder where are we going, what are we doing as a society that people would actually look at those crimes taking place and not pick up the phone,” Johnson said.
The 14-year-old boy has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, manufacturing of child pornography and dissemination of child photography. Police are now looking for a 15-year-old suspect in the March 19 attack and said they’re likely to charge several others, including one adult male.
Police Commander Brendan Deenihan said the victim has been helping with the investigation, but stressed that the incident has taken an incredible toll on her
“Detectives, working with the State’s Attorneys, did several interviews with this victim but she’s having a very, very difficult time even talking about it,” Deenihan said. On top of that, Deenihan said, the victim is enduring even more trauma because of bullying on social media, where he said people have been “making fun of the victim” including “a lot of off color comments” about the incident.
A spokesman for the police department said the victim and her family have been relocated to a “safe place.”
Andrew Holmes, a community activist and spokesman for the victim’s family, said the whole family has been “totally shaken” by the incident, which Holmes called a “torture.” Holmes said the victim is receiving therapy and hasn’t returned to school, and stressed that she has a “long road ahead.”
Holmes encouraged any person who was involved to turn themselves in
“If you was in that basement, you watching what happened, guess what? You just as guilty as the people that committed the crime,” Holmes said.
Lauren Chooljian covers city politics for WBEZ. Follow her @laurenchooljian.