Two suspects identified in rape broadcast on Facebook Live, Chicago police say

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 April, 2017, 12:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 April, 2017, 9:27pm

Chicago police have identified two of several juvenile suspects who they say participated in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that was broadcast live on Facebook.

One of the suspects, a 14-year-old, was arrested Saturday and is facing felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault, manufacturing of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. Police have not arrested the other suspect, a 15-year-old, but authorities say they expect to do so soon.

Police announced the developments on the investigation at a press conference on Sunday.

The girl went missing on March 19 and was lured into a residence where she was sexually assaulted by a group of male juveniles while one streamed the attack on Facebook Live, said Commander Brendan Deenihan, of the Chicago Police Department.

“From there, she was not allowed to leave and she didn’t consent to what occurred,” Deenihan said, adding that the victim knew one of the suspects.

Investigators were alerted the following day when the girl’s mother approached Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a local precinct and showed him screenshot images from the video. Police said the girl was found on the street on March 21 and was taken to a hospital.

One of the girl’s relatives told the Chicago Tribune that a teenager told him about the Facebook Live video. The girl’s mother was shown the screenshots and was able to identify her daughter, the Tribune reported.

The victim’s family told police that as many as 40 people watched the live stream without calling 911.

Deenihan said several videos are involved and investigators are still combing through social media posts to identify the other suspects. He said the girl has had “such a difficult time” talking to investigators about what had happened.

Deenihan declined to say how many other suspects police are looking for, but the Associated Press reported that as many as six male juveniles are suspected of being involved. More arrests are expected, police say.

During the press conference, Johnson condemned not only the suspects, but also those who chose to not call authorities.

“The young men responsible - they should ashamed of themselves. They’ve humiliated themselves. They’ve humiliated their families. And now they’re going to be held accountable for what they did,” he said.