The three young boys appeared in court in Cobb Country, north of Atlanta on Monday afternoon and were ordered to remain in custody until the hearing is complete. The proceeding was closed to reporters due to the ages of the suspects and the victim.
Police Chief Michael Wilkie of Acworth, Georgia told
CNN in a video here
, that he has never seen something like this case in his 20 plus years of law enforcement.
Wilkie said the girl was examined by doctors and they think they may have a case but still are investigating. They also interviewed the girl extensively.
The parents of the boys are in disbelief; one of the boys’ father spoke to The Associate Press and said there was no force against the girl and it was consensual. He said the girl leveled these accusations so that she won’t get into trouble with her parents.
Wilkie didn’t agree with this parent’s view and said young kids cannot legally consent to sex, saying "...we have to go with the charges we have."
He said, however, the investigation is far from over and they are still questioning her friends because the girl had talked about it at a slumber party.
Wilkie told CNN:
"The investigators who are following up on this have had a lot specialized training of forensic interviews with children…We've sent them to a number of courses for this, and so we're confident that we've done that part of the investigation as best as we can. We think her story at this point is credible and that's why we went forward with the warrants."
He said they have provided counseling for the girl and they want to resolve the case as soon as possible.
The girl’s mother was very angry at the three boys, and told WGCL-TV in Atlanta:
"They do need to be taught a lesson because if they do it to her, they could do it to somebody else. And who knows when they become teenagers what they can do to other girls."
Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head told reporters the current rape charges would be replaced with juvenile charges, since they are too young to be prosecuted on felony charges. In Georgia, juvenile defendants must be at least 13 years old before a case can be transferred to the adult system.
If they are prosecuted, they face up to five years probation and time in a state youth home.
The Juvenile Court Judge A. Gregory Poole imposed a gag order on participants in the case, so Head said they can’t give additional explanations.
In my opinion, things are getting worse. It is too early to lay blame on the boys, but so far it doesn’t look good.