Police find Chicago teen whose sexual assault was seen on Facebook Live

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2017 4:32 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A teenage girl in Chicago whose sexual assault by multiple attackers was broadcast on Facebook has been found by law enforcement, police said on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old girl was located on the city's West Side and is being treated at a hospital for sexual assault, Chicago Police Department spokesman Frank Giancamilli said by email. All the suspects in the attack appear to be juveniles, he added.

Police were alerted to the attack when the girl's mother approached police Superintendent Eddie Johnson after an unrelated news conference on Monday afternoon and showed him images of her daughter being assaulted by five or six men, Giancamilli said. Reuters does not name the victims of sexual crimes.

"The Superintendent was visibly upset when he heard about the case and saw the pictures of the girl and incident on FB Live. He was also very dismayed when he learned that there were people (who) were watching the incident live and no one called police," Giancamilli said.

The girl's mother said she was alerted on Monday morning by the girl's uncle to a video captured on Facebook Live that showed the teenager being sexually assaulted by several young men, news station WGN said.

The high school freshman went to the store on Sunday afternoon, but her mother became concerned when she did not return home, WGN said.

After meeting with the mother, Johnson ordered a team of detectives to investigate, Giancamilli said, and police issued a missing persons bulletin for the girl on Monday night.

It was the latest incident over the past few months in Chicago where the social media site has played a role in broadcasting apparent crimes.

The shooting death last month on the city's West Side of a 2-year-old boy was captured on Facebook Live by his aunt, who was also shot.

In January, an attack by four African-Americans on a 19-year-old white man with special needs was partially broadcast on the social media site, drawing condemnation. The four accused in the attack have pleaded not guilty.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Peter Cooney)