CHICAGO — Police on Saturday charged a 14-year-old boy for his role in an alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl last month that was streamed on Facebook Live.
The boy, whose named was not released by police because of his age, was charged with aggravated criminal assault, manufacturing of child pornography, and dissemination of child pornography, according to Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielimi
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has scheduled a news conference Sunday to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Police announced on March 21 that they were searching for five to six individuals for the assault of the girl. The girl, who had gone missing on March 19, was found by Chicago detectives two days later, and one day after the girl’s mother approached Johnson as he was leaving a news conference and showed him screen grabs of the attack, according to police.
The video, which has been removed from Facebook, was viewed by dozens of people, but no one called authorities.
After the girl was reunited with her family, they endured online taunts and harassing messages, Johnson said.
The department said in a statement that it has worked with the State Attorney’s Office and the city of Chicago to provide support for the family to ensure the girl’s safety and well-being.
The alleged assault is one of several high-profile violent incidents that have been broadcast on Facebook’s and Twitter’s livestreaming platforms.
In January, four young African-American suspects in Chicago were charged in the alleged torture and beating of a white teen with mental health challenges that was broadcast on Facebook Live. Prosecutors pointed to evidence from the livestream to make the case that the boy, who suffers from schizophrenia, was the victim of a hate crime.
Facebook Live footage is expected to be used in the prosecution of a Minnesota police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm in the high-profile shooting death of a motorist, Philando Castile. The aftermath of the controversial shooting was streamed by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who along with her daughter were passengers in the vehicle. The trial of the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, is tentatively scheduled to begin May 30.