Last night, NJ law enforcement officials announced that five people had been arrested in connection with the reported gang rape of a 7-year-old girl in a Trenton apartment. Gregory Leary, 20, and Tiemear Lewis, 19, were charged, as were a 13-year-old, a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old. Their names were not released because they are minors, though Mercer County Prosecutor Joe Bocchini hopes to try them as adults. Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer said, "We're not finished. Because everyone who's responsible has not been arrested."
Police say the 7-year-old girl was gang raped after her 15-year-old stepsister brought her to a party in an abandoned apartment and sold her for sex; both girls were reported missing by their parents. The stepsister, who was also selling herself for sex, has already been arrested for promoting prostitution. Leary was arrested on Wednesday for statutory rape, for having sex with her.
Police do not believe the gang rape was a gang initiation and said that they made the arrests thanks to tips from the community, in spite of some hesitation. Palmer said, "Good people came forward to try and get justice for this 7-year-old angel, who was brutally gang-raped by pedophile animals. Everyone that was responsible is still not arrested. Police won’t rest until we get every one."
Palmer also revealed that the 7-year-old's family was moved to "a safe place right now. We're going to continue to embrace this family. This is a nightmare for everyone involved. And it's my intent to have them out of the area because the little girl has been stigmatized." Apparently the family has been threatened—the 7-year-old was allegedly told not to tell anyone about the gang rape because she would be killed—and the child also told Palmer, "Everybody’s staring at me. They know it’s me."
Trenton residents were pleased with the arrests, but are still upset at the horrific crime. "I say, 'kill "em all.' People like that need to be tied up and shot," said one man. Police Chief Joe Juniak said, "If you were in and out of the apartment and have knowledge of what was going on, you need to come forward. If you were in that apartment and have information, come forward before it's too late."