A Rockland County judge found four middle-school boys guilty of gang raping one 14-year-old girl and sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in Ramapo, N.Y.
“You hurt those girls. You violated them, you caused them humiliation in a very public way. You hurt their family. You hurt your parents,” Judge Sherri Eisenpress said as she found the one 12- and three 13-year-old boys guilty.
The case against the defendants included testimonies from the girls, two of the girls’ friends and police officers.
The prosecutors also gave the judge police statements signed by the defendants. The judge read the statement describing the abuse, using the boys’ own words.
During the attacks, the older girl rejected their advances, saying she was menstruating. The boys instead sexually assaulted the younger girl, who fought them off, according to The Journal News.
The boys then returned to the older girl and took turns raping her while the others held her down, according to the paper.
One of the boys said he tried to have sex with the girl but did not penetrate her.
“I didn’t want to be a punk,” the paper reported the boy said, “I didn’t want to seem like anyone who didn’t do it.”
He claimed to have promised the girl that he would get the other boys off her if she kissed him. But after the kiss, the boys continued to attack her, according to the published account.
Lurlyn Winchester, one of the boys’ lawyers addressed reporters outside the courthouse. “It was very traumatic for their parents to hear everything their children had done,” she said.
Ramapo police Lt. Mark Emma told the Rockland County Times how bad he felt for the victims. “These were violent, heinous offenses that no person, let alone a child, should have to suffer… There’s going to be emotional issues for them for years to come,” he said.
Eisenpress said that she believed the girls’ testimonies, adding that one boy’s testimony, which claimed the sex was consensual, was not reliable, according to The Associated Press.
The boys could be sentenced to juvenile detention until they are 18-years-old. They will next appear in court on Oct. 11.
The sexual abuse occurred over several days in the Chestnut Ridge section of Ramapo, police said.
Sue Garner, a mother of a student in the boys’ school district, told The Journal News that the felony sex convictions will follow the boys around for years to come. “Those are very young boys,” she said, “who made some very poor decisions that will leave a negative impact on their lives for a long time.”