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Texas Girl May Have Been Raped Six Times By Almost 20 Men

Texas Girl May Have Been Raped Six Times By Almost 20 Men

In a somewhat unclear update to the horrific story of the 11-year-old girl who was gang-raped by almost 20 men in East Texas, the New York Times reports that this may not have been an isolated incident, and that the girl in question might have been assaulted repeatedly over the course of three months. According to the police, the girl may have been gang-raped six times between September 15 and December 3 of last fall. Her parents did not become aware that the abuse was happening until her parents found sexually explicit photos on her father’s cell phone, which she had been borrowing.

After coming under significant fire for their problematic initial coverage of the case, the NYT is clearly trying to rectify some of their mistakes. They report that the girl was an “outgoing honor roll student” before withdrawing from some of her extracurricular activities last October. What seems to be even more clear, though, from this article, is that no one is really sure what’s happening, either in the town, with the girl, or with the case.

The article’s authors ask, logically, how a girl could have been repeatedly abused by such a large number of men in a tightly knit community without anyone noticing or intervening. Eighteen of the men charged have pleaded not guilty; the nineteenth has yet to be arraigned.

This update includes new, disturbing details from the November 28 rape, which was originally thought to be the only assault. The girl said that she was ordered to strip, and “engaged in sexual and oral intercourse” with several of the men present. During the assault, she overheard one of the men calling a friend and inviting him to have sex with her. Four men she didn’t know subsequently arrived. They took her to an abandoned trailer a block away when a family member arrived at the house, and continued to assault her.

The girl’s parents, who are Mexican immigrants, figure prominently in the article, and their role seems ambiguous — although, again, this could simply be the NYT dropping the ball in their coverage. According to family members, her parents were in “dire economic straits,” and that both parents are plagued with health problems. Why this is relevant to the girl’s sexual assault is unclear — all it does is suggest, once again, that this may not have been a brutal crime against a child, but rather an event that was in some way produced by parental negligence. The girl, for reasons that the reporters do not explore, is now in foster care, and the parents must attend family therapy sessions before they can regain custody.

The article is confusing, and reveals a horrifying and still-unfolding case. But it also continues to demonstrate the media biases in reporting rape cases. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

 

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107 comments

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8:42PM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

Rape is rape...

10:48PM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

Noted.

9:08AM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

Wow there's a lot of assuming going on here. First of all, it says nothing about the parent's being illegal, just that they are Mexican immigrants. This probably means they are legal..yes some people do still come here legally. Second, it doesn't say why she's in foster care, or that they were prostituting her out. That's pathetic. Don't assume it's the parent's fault. If they were indeed doing this then they are to blame too, but let's not jump to conclusions. Oh, and by the way, I'm from Texas, and this is not accepted, so don't classify all Texans this way. I believe I've heard of horrible stories like this from every part of the country. We must not forget the victim here is an 11 year old girl, no one else. The fact that she was attacked by as many as 20 men over several months is sickening. There is no way this happened in a small town and no one knew..I grew up in a small town..they know everything about everyone else. I just pray for this girl, that she get justice and protection now, and for the many years in the battle ahead. I was a victim of child rape (luckily by only one man) and it is something that never goes away. She will need a lot of people around her to show her the love and confidence she will need to get through this.

11:21PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Caroline L... The rapists were black, (all of them) the child was Hispanic and 11, No matter if its racist, cultural or anything its done by scum who always pick on what is weaker when they are in numbers like cowards and they all deserve hung no matter the instance she was 11, never asked for no woman or child does, the punishment should be death for those who done it and the cowards who recorded it and took photos, its not colour, its not culture its scum, weak scum who need to hang. People are looking for other paths in this case to get away from the fact that an 11 year old girl was gang raped, we have to stand up and show support for the victim and disgust for those who done it, start hanging them and cultures will change, no race card or nationality needed, you rape, you molest, you abuse and you die... it would stop in a flash.

7:59AM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

This is happening a lot in Latino neighborhoods; many of the victims are children of immigrants. Are the rapists also Latino? Are they, too, immigrants? This could be racism but it could also be cultural. In many countries rape is not punished and pushing women around is a symbol of "machismo". These cases should be looked at more closely to determine what is going on here and why there are so many cases involving Latino or Mexican females from immigrant families. If it's racism, then it's a homegrown problem that needs to be handled. But if it's cultural, then intervention in those communities is an emergency. These boys need to learn that treating women this way is not acceptable and that respect for women is expected in most parts of the US.

7:59AM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

This is happening a lot in Latino neighborhoods; many of the victims are children of immigrants. Are the rapists also Latino? Are they, too, immigrants? This could be racism but it could also be cultural. In many countries rape is not punished and pushing women around is a symbol of "machismo". These cases should be looked at more closely to determine what is going on here and why there are so many cases involving Latino or Mexican females from immigrant families. If it's racism, then it's a homegrown problem that needs to be handled. But if it's cultural, then intervention in those communities is an emergency. These boys need to learn that treating women this way is not acceptable and that respect for women is expected in most parts of the US.

9:13PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

what in the world!!

12:43PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Diane K.: Who the h**l are you to type racist slurs against her parents? First of all, we don't yet know the full story on any involvment by the parents. And secondly, what has any of this to do with immigration? Ignorance doesn't have anything to do with what country you came from. And, beside that, you are also an immigrant and illegal, I might add.

6:07AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Actually child sex abuse happens frequently among groups of people in communities and goes unreported, sometimes indefinitely. It only seems like a logical question to ask how this is possible if the someone doing the asking has not done their homework on these issues, which I believe as a journalist they should have done.

10:51PM PDT on Mar 31, 2011

Race should have nothing to do with this case.The fact is an 11 year old CHILD was raped!That is the point to remember. Not who is Mexican,who is black..... Rape,child molesting, these creatures should be put to a slow,painful death.After years of facing the fate they gave her.They need a few years in prison first.Most inmates hate those who rape children.
I do think the parents knew.But I haven't seen the evidence.
Just keep in mind,this is a little girl.Consider the hell this has to be for her.Keep her in your thoughts,wish her well.
I hope she becomes a strong survivor.

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