One 24-year-old man accused of aiding in the rape of a teenage girl has pled not guilty in a Ramsey County court. According to police, the man, who they claim is part of a gang, was allegedly part of a plot for nine men to rape the victim. The man, however, said that although he knew members of the gang and what sorts of things they do, he is not a part of the gang.
The young woman who says she was raped said the suspect picked her up from school and took her and a friend to a St. Paul home. Eventually, more people joined them and they consumed alcohol and took the young women to a vacant house owned by another suspect. This is where the women said the apparent sexual assault occurred.
The young man’s attorney issued a statement saying he was not part of the plot, but was trying to help the girl in her time of need and told her they needed to leave before the alleged rape occurred. The young woman had told a similar story to the nurse who examined her after the incident.
While police carry out their investigations, it is important to note that although the suspect knew members of a gang, it does not mean he is in the gang. Also, though he may have transported the girl and supplied alcohol, it does not mean he was part of the alleged rape. In addition, the suspect may have been intimidated by gang members to help them carry out an act of violence.
The young man is facing charges including committing a crime for the benefit of a gang and rape. He faces up to 31 to 60 years in prison if he is found guilty.
Source: Star Tribune, “St. Paul rape victim recounts betrayal,” Joy Powell, Dec. 12, 2012
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