NJ Girl Takes Plea In Stepsister’s Gang Rape Case

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — All sex-related charges against a 15-year-old girl accused of selling her 7-year-old stepsister to a group of men and boys for sex at a party have been dropped, prosecutors said Thursday.

The 15-year-old watched as the 7-year-old was raped by as many as seven men and boys in a vacant apartment near the girls’ Trenton home on March 28, police said. As many as a dozen people were at the party in a crime-plagued public housing complex a mile from the dome of the New Jersey statehouse, investigators said.

The teenage girl originally was charged with aggravated sexual assault, criminal restraint, terroristic threats, promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a minor, and Mercer County prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. had said he would push to try her as an adult. On Tuesday, the girl pleaded guilty in juvenile court to child endangerment and was sentenced to a year in juvenile detention, where she has been since her March 30 arrest.

The girl would have faced much more time if convicted of the other charges.

As part of her plea, Mercer County Superior Court Judge F. Lee Forrester ordered her to have no contact with her stepsister and provide truthful testimony and cooperation with prosecutors, who have related cases against five other people.

A telephone call to the teenage stepsister’s public defender wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.

Defense attorneys immediately questioned whether the younger girl was assaulted, and prosecutors admitted in court papers that preliminary DNA tests showed no semen was found in samples taken from her.

Besides the older stepsister, two men and three boys ages 13, 14 and 17 also have been charged in the case. The three boys are expected in juvenile court later this month.

The state offered plea deals to the juveniles in exchange for testimony against the men, assistant prosecutor Jennifer Downing has said.

Attorney Mark Fury, representing the youngest boy, said all the boys have been offered plea deals similar to the older stepsister’s. He said he was unsure whether his client would accept the offer.

“Whatever happened, he wasn’t there for it,” Fury said.

The Rowan Towers building where the party occurred is in the downtown Trenton area and is surrounded by blocks of abandoned, boarded-up homes. Residents said security was long a problem there.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Bonnie H Heiman

    Having worked in the District Attorney’s Office for almost twenty years, I can
    tell the public and those who have children, that the reason there are so many crimes is that there is NO punishment for crime. If parents do not love their children enough to make them mind, as a child, what in the world do parents expect when the child grows up? It’s too late! Why do you think Jesus told us to ‘lead a child in the way he should go.” It’s to late when that child grows up!
    Don’t expect that child to start being lawabiding when he is grown. Even in Prison, they get “Good Time” if they follow the rules which helps them to get
    out of prison sooner than what they received at their Court Having seen HOW
    much they get out of their “Punishment” After 125 DAYS – yep! .that’s right, 125 days and then they are not under the Court’ Order, but under the Prison
    Rules which, with Good Time they get out fast!! IF I were in charge (!) I would give them NO GOOD TIME –.BUT –I WOULD, HOWEVER, GIVE THEM BAD TIME.–They would also start back having a Garden where they work 8 hours a day
    like most people do (that is, they WORK) which is what they were suppose
    to do – than out doing things that are against the law. I would love to BE BOSS!



  • Barbara

    The psyical and psychological damage has been done to this 7 year old will have a profound affect on the rest of her life. Regardless of what sentence that 15 year old step sister receives it will never repair the damage done to that 7 year old. What help in psychologically overcoming this tragic event is being provided to the 7 year old? Has the family been ordered into family counseling? Will a childcare advocate be assigned to check in on the 7 year old and her house hold over the next 5 years?

  • John Patti

    this is B.S. u have to love the law that little B*tch should be doing a whole lot more than 1 year more like life just like all them punks who get there jollys off on little kids its just sick this world is so F ed up

  • Lisa

    What is with these prosecutors? Why on earth would they give this girl basically what amounts to a slap on the wrist? If it weren’t for her, that poor child would never have been attacked. She should be tried as an adult for aggravated sexual assault, criminal restraint, terroristic threats, promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a minor, right along with the boys who raped her.

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