Languages
Page last updated at 04:40 GMT, Saturday, 25 July 2009 05:40 UK

Outcry over disowned US rape girl

Map

Offers of help are pouring in for an eight-year-old Liberian girl disowned by her own family in Phoenix, Arizona, after being raped by four boys.

The girl is under the care of the Arizona Child Protective Service (CPS) because her parents said she had shamed them, and they did not want her back.

Phoenix police said calls had come in from all over the US offering money, or even to adopt the young girl.

The boys, Liberian immigrants aged nine to 14, have been charged with rape.

The case has sparked outrage across the US and even drawn condemnation from Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, an outspoken anti-rape campaigner.

"I think that family is wrong. They should help that child who has been traumatised," Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf told CNN.

"They too need serious counselling because clearly they are doing something, something that is no longer acceptable in our society here," she added.

Brutal attack

Media reports said the girl was lured into a shed on 16 July with promises of chewing gum by the four young boys.

There, they held her down and took turns assaulting her for 10 to 15 minutes, before her screams alerted officers nearby.

The oldest suspect, a 14-year-old boy, will be tried as an adult on charges of kidnapping and sexual assault, police said on Friday. He is being held in police custody until trial.

The other three - aged 9, 10, and 13 - are charged as juveniles with sexual assault and kidnapping.

But the police said no charges will be filed against the parents.

"They didn't abandon the child," Phoenix police sergeant Andy Hill told AFP news agency. "They committed no crime. They just didn't support the child, which led to CPS coming over there."

Sgt Hill said people from eight or nine US states had called wanting to adopt the girl or donate money.

"It has been unbelievably fantastic in terms of support for the child," he said.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Liberia's child rape victims
18 Jan 07 |  From Our Own Correspondent


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific