8-Year-Old Raped By Boys Who Aren’t Even 15 Yet

This is a sad story. If you are looking for something uplifting to start your weekend, stop reading right now.

Police in Phoenix, AZ, went out to investigate reports of hysterical screaming. They found four boys, all under age 15, and a partially clothed 8-year-old girl running from an empty shed. The boys, ages 9 to 14, now face charges ranging from sexual assault to kidnapping. Investigators say they lured the girl to the shed by offering her gum. Then, they held her down and took turns raping her for about 10 to 15 minutes. It’s unbelievable to me that preteen boys could rape a young girl. Do they even understand sex at that age? I suppose they must for this to happen. But thinking back on my own elementary school years, I have a hard time wrapping my head around this. How did they get the idea to do this? From TV? From video games? From their own parents?

The 14-year-old boy was charged Wednesday as an adult with two counts of sexual assault and kidnapping. The other boys were charged as juveniles with sexual assault. But what about the 8-year-old girl? When her family found out what happened, they criticized her. Police Sgt. Andy Hill said the father told the case worker and an officer that he didn’t want his child back.

All five of the children involved are refugees from Liberia, and in that part of the world, women are often blamed when they are raped. But cultural differences can’t be used as an excuse here, for anyone’s actions, and I hope the girl is found a supportive place to grow up, where she can be taught that what happened was not her fault. [CBS News]