Police have arrested seven men and are looking for another in connection with the rape of a teenager. Authorities have described the incident as one of the most heinous crimes in recent years that has left the entire state shocked and once again reflect the rise in crime among the youth in the country.
Although the incident took place last December, it took months for police to identify each and every suspect and arrest them. Over the eight-month long investigation, detectives learned the identities of the men, who are known to police for their involvement in other criminal activities. However, the case is open and investigation is on with one suspect still at large.
Finally Behind Bars
According to the police, the men lured the 16-year-old girl to a party on December 20, 2019, and offered her alcohol and marijuana. Once the girl consumed it and got intoxicated, the seven men "forced themselves" on her one by one. Hugh T. Clements Jr., chief of the Providence police, said.
The seven arrested are Keith Erving Colon, 24; Jose Vargas, 18; Carlos Chacon, 19; Malcolm Baptista, 18; Luis A. Cabrera, 18; and Luis Luna, 19, all from Providence, as well as Richard Tarell Chester, 19, of Seekonk, and face charges of assault with intent to commit sexual assault and conspiracy. Another suspect, Carlos Vasquez, is still at large and a manhunt is on.
According to police, a video was posted on Facebook following the alleged gangrape. The video showed the events that unfolded that night, but police did not provide further details about it to keep the identity of the girl, who remains in trauma even eight months after the incident.
Pre-planned Sexual Assault
The girl and her family reported the incident almost after a month. According to a report in Boston Globe, the girl said that she was too intoxicated to remember the assault. She at that time had said that she only remembered a man holding her down on a bed and pouring Hennessy in her mouth although she tried to resist as she was already feeling sick from drinking and smoking at the party.
According to court records, the victim said that she remembered waking up in a bathroom shower all naked with at least 15 men surrounding her and laughing at her. Some were even clicking her nude photographs. Later when she woke up, a man asked her to leave the room.
The girl had also reported of having vaginal pain and cuts on her thighs after waking up when she realized that she had been raped. One of the men in the room was using her cellphone to send taunting messages to her ex-boyfriend about a group of men sexually assaulting her, while she was unconscious, according to police records.
The video was posted on Facebook sometime in June, which made things easier for the police to identify the suspects. "We've had some real difficult cases over the years, but this is right up there," Clements said.
"The incident was horrifying, devastating, disturbing on so many levels to this young girl, to her family and to this community," he added, commending the girl for coming forward to report the incident. If proven guilty the men could face 20 years each in prison.