5 boys arrested in Beretania gang rape
Police arrest the boys at their homes in Kalihi and they are held at a youth facility
POLICE arrested five Kalihi boys yesterday in connection with the Tuesday night gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in Beretania Community Park.
Four of the youths, two 13-year-olds, a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, were arrested by police at their homes about 6:30 a.m. A fifth boy, age 11, turned himself in to police about two hours later.
"Now that I know they got caught I feel much better," the girl's mother said yesterday. "I hope those boys learn from what they did. Hope they think about what they did and that it was wrong."
Police Department spokesman Frank Fujii said the boys face potential charges of: two counts of first-degree sexual assault; four counts of third-degree sexual assault; one count of third-degree assault; and one count of attempted sexual assault.
Fujii wouldn't say yesterday which boys face which charges or whether they could be released to the custody of their parents. He said they are being held at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility. He said state law prohibits him from saying whether any have prior offenses.
Fujii said it took police a few days to determine the boys' identities and find them, because the girl knew them only by first names or nicknames.
The girl's mother said she's satisfied that police acted as quickly as they could to arrest the boys. She said her daughter told police detectives the names of her attackers Wednesday and identified the boys from school photographs police showed her Friday.
Fujii complimented school administrators for working with police during the Thanksgiving holiday and the girl for her bravery in reporting the attack.
The girl who was attacked "is doing OK. She has all her friends supporting her, coming over to the house and giving her sympathy," said her mother, who is not being identified to protect her daughter's identity.
"She's friends with everybody. She's kind of like a well-known girl. I don't know for what reason they did it," the victim's mother said of her daughters assailants. "Don't their parents teach them what is right and wrong?"
The victim and an 11-year-old girlfriend were walking home from an event at Central Intermediate School at 7:45 p.m. when one of the boys allegedly pulled the victim to a playground slide and sexually assaulted her, then called five other boys to do the same. One of the boys hit the girl in the face, her mother said. A sixth boy present tried to stop the others, her daughter told her, so will not face charges.
Steven Rodrigues, the father of the girl who was with the victim, said his daughter tried to call for help during the attack, but some of the boys held her mouth. "They was holding her mouth and she was screaming," Rodrigues said of his daughter. "When they let her go, (the victim) told her, 'Go, run, get help.'"
Rodrigues said his daughter is so traumatized by the event that she is staying with a relative in Mililani and wants to change schools.
"My daughter was at the wrong place at the wrong time, not knowing her own friends would do this to her," the victim's mother said. She said she wishes the boys could be charged as adults.
The girl is physically bruised from the assault, but the lasting effect is likely to be emotional, her mother said.
"My daughter is scarred for life. She's 11. She's a big girl but she's sensitive inside, she's soft. It's going to be hard for her.
"All I can do is take her counseling, show her love and tell her it's not her fault," the mother said. "Still, she's going to be scarred inside."
People using Beretania Community Park yesterday said they were relieved that arrests have been made.
Park user Nalani Johnson said although she hasn't seen criminal activity, she has seen "young kids around here be very rowdy. A bunch of them ride their bikes through."
During daylight hours the park is a safe place, Johnson said, but after dark, there is prostitution and drug dealing.