Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gang rape of 11-year-old girl taped on cell phone

Robert Snell:

Reginald Robinson Brown

If five Macomb County teens who took turns having sex with a neighborhood girl didn't know she was 11 then, they knew when they were done, police say.

"They asked" before they left the house, Eastpointe Detective Lt. Leo Borowsky said Wednesday. Police say they recorded the act on a cell phone.

Now, the teens could face up to life in prison if convicted of raping the girl in the basement of an Eastpointe home. The 10-second cell phone video clip, which no longer exists, was passed around the girl's neighborhood until her mother heard about it and reported it to police.

The five suspects, ages 15-19, are charged as adults. They are scheduled to appear for a March 8 pretrial hearing.

Police say the girl was not threatened in the assault they say happened in June. But she felt coerced and intimidated into complying, police say. The legal age for consensual sex in Michigan is 16.

"The sad thing is she was raped by these five men repeatedly. They took turns and coerced her and forced her into this," Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said of the nearly hour-long assault. "It is a horrific case. It sickens me to see this."

After seeing the footage on her cell phone -- which showed the 11-year-old naked from the waist down on top of one of the suspects -- neighbor Caprice Greene said she was confused.

Greene's cell phone was used to record the incident that police say happened in Greene's home on Collinson Avenue, in the basement bedroom of her 15-year-old brother, Reginald Pope Jr. He is among the five suspects.

"I really don't understand it myself," said Greene, 17, who is listed as a witness in the case.

She told police someone swiped her camera phone off its charger and that she stumbled across the clip afterward and recognized the 11-year-old as the "little girl from down the street," according to the police report.

The victim told police that Greene filmed it, police reports say.

Greene told police she deleted the clip to keep from getting in trouble, according to the police report.

Besides Pope, the others charged are Reginald Robinson Brown, 19, of Clinton Township, Careese Adams-Johnson, 16, of Warren, 15-year-old Derrick McGuire of Roseville and 16-year-old Jonathon Powell of Eastpointe.

All five suspects have requested court-appointed attorneys. Police officials said Brown has confessed to the crime and implicated the other members of the group.

Brown has been in trouble with the law before. According to circuit court records, he pleaded guilty last year to two counts of carrying a concealed weapon and is serving one year in the Macomb County Jail.

Suspect in rape cuts deal

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