MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Nine suspected gang members and associates were charged Friday in a sexual attack on a 14-year-old girl who was forced back inside an abandoned St. Paul house and raped after trying to leave a party last November, authorities said.
The girl and her friend were picked up at school by one of the men and lured to a party with suspected members of the TB22, or True Blood 22, street gang, prosecutors said.
“This crime was every parent’s nightmare,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement. “Crimes like these shock the conscience of our community.”
According to a criminal complaint, the girl wanted to leave the Nov. 17 party at the abandoned St. Paul house but was pulled from a car and carried back inside.
“The victim reported grabbing whatever she could, including door frames, to stop them from bringing her into the bedroom,” the complaint said. The girl told a nurse that once she was forced onto a mattress on the floor inside the bedroom, a group of men held her down while she struggled and yelled for help.
One of the defendants told police at least two men raped the girl, according to the complaint.
The Associated Press usually does not identify victims of sexual assault.
The girl told the nurse that when she asked the man who brought her to the party, 24-year-old Mang Yang, to help, he said he had to go, according to the complaint. The assault stopped when one of the men yelled “police” and everyone ran, the complaint said.
According to the complaint, Yang told police he knew the others planned to rape the girl and that “is the gang’s intent every time they get girls to a party with them to get them drunk and rape them.”
One of the teens told police that Yang told him to hold the girl down. But the complaint said Yang told police he went looking for the girl after she was carried from his car and that he heard her screaming and saw teens run out of a room.
Yang said he asked her if anything happened but she was crying and didn’t answer, according to the complaint.
Yang is charged along with four other men, ages 18 to 37. Four male minors, ages 15 to 17, also are charged. They each face four counts: aiding and abetting first-degree sexual conduct, conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual conduct, kidnapping someone under age 16, and committing a crime for the benefit of a gang.
All nine defendants are suspected gang members or associates.
Yang and three of the other adults charged made their initial court appearances Friday and were appointed public defenders.
“This is a very serious case involving many co-defendants and we look forward to providing the best defense possible in each case to reach a fair resolution,” said Kelley Malone-O’Neill, managing attorney at the Ramsey County Public Defender’s office.
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