The alleged rape that occurred involved minors, from the victim to the actual rapists themselves. If the refugees’ children are capable of such a crime, what would their parents do?
An alleged sexual assault on a five-year-old special needs girl has put a small Idaho city at the center of the debate over the Obama administration’s move to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Much of what occurred in the June 2 incident is unclear, clouded by emotion and rumor and sealed from public record due to the suspects’ ages. At a raucous public meeting Monday, dozens of residents of the city of 44,000 voiced their concerns after word had spread that young Syrian refugees had gang-raped a little girl at knifepoint, defiling her in unspeakable ways.
Some of what they had heard was true, some was not and still more remains unconfirmed speculation. But authorities believe something terrible occurred. Two young boys were arrested Friday and remain in custody.
“This is a serious crime and we are handling it the way we handle all such crimes,” Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs told FoxNews.com. “We’re still in the fairly early stages of investigating this.”
Despite the hot-button issue of refugee resettlement, the story has gained little traction with the national media, and Internet fact-check site Snopes.com has labeled the information circulating on the web as “mostly false.” According to Loebs, the three assailants, ages 7, 10 and 14, are not Syrian, but may be refugees. The girl was not raped, but is believed to have been sexually assaulted, he said.
The day after the arrests, local residents formed the Facebook community “Justice for Our Children” in support of the young victim and her family that has more than 9,000 members. A petition was circulated, attracting more than 2,500 signatures in less than three days.
“Many people in this community are in awe, and outraged that no consequences are being served to these boys nor their parents for this vile incident,” reads the petition letter dated Jun 18. “We feel there is an incredible lack of justice being served. We are not targeting due to racism. We are targeting these individuals because of their horrific acts. No one should go without consequences for actions like these no matter the age or language barrier.”
Davis Odell, a community resident who has been in close contact with the victim’s family said the boys dragged the unnamed girl into a utility room in the Fawnbrook Apartments, a low-income, subsidized housing complex in Twin Falls, and assaulted her in an attack that ended when a neighbor happened upon the scene and called police.
“They stripped her naked, and urinated in her mouth,” Odell told FoxNews.com, citing his conversations with the girl’s family.
Neither the Twin Falls Police Department nor Loebs confirmed the details given by Odell. Loebs did confirm that the incident was reported on June 2, and that two juvenile suspects were finally charged Thursday and arrested a day later. The prosecutor did not say why just two arrests had been made, and said the case is sealed due to its sensitive nature and the minors involved.