Reporting Jenn Bernstein
By Jenn Bernstein and Diana Rocco
LOWER TOWNSHIP, NJ (CBS) – Eighteen-year-old Brittney Hearon and her 16-year-old sister say accusations against them are completely false.
“I didn’t expect for any of this to happen. We helped her, and then we got accused of hurting her,” said the 16-year-old.
She and Brittney say they were trying to look out for a 14-year-old girl during a drinking party in the woods on March 15th.
The sisters say they were headed back into a wooded area in their neighborhood to meet up with friends. After some time, they say they realized a 14-year-old girl who was with the group was nowhere to be found.
“We split up and went to go find this girl,” said Brittney. “Me and my sister came across her, completely naked, lying on the ground, with just a bra on.”
The sisters claim she was heavily intoxicated. They say they dressed her and brought her back to the group.
Worried about her state, the girls say they left to find their aunt, who then called the girl’s mother.
“We did what we could to help her,” said Brittney. “We knew that we couldn’t help her anymore.”
That’s why the sisters claim they were shocked to find out that they, as well as six other juveniles who were with them in the woods, are now facing serious charges.
Prosecutors say their investigation found the victim was sexually assaulted and physically abused that night.
Brittney and her sister face charges of endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy to commit endangering an injured victim. The 16-year-old also says she faces an aggravated assault charge.
“It’s the most hurtful, embarrassing thing you can be accused of,” said Brittney.
Their father, Charles Hearon, is distraught over the charges and says the girls did exactly what they should have done — helped the girl then find an adult.
“I don’t know what they could have done different,” said Charles.
Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor wouldn’t comment on camera, but he did say detectives seized two cell phones and an iPod. They are doing forensic searches on the items.
Taylor also said detectives will go through a “considerable amount” of evidence from social media.