There are new startling, heartbreaking details emerging in the infamous gang rape case out of Cleveland, Texas. It was previously reported that the assault of an 11-year-old Latina happened over the course of three days during the Thanksgiving holiday. But this week, after an interview with the girl's father Juan, the New York Times is reporting that the attacks happened continuously over the course of three months. In total, 19 black men and boys between the ages of 14 and 27 have been arrested in connection with the rapes. From the Times:
The police say the girl was raped on at least six occasions, from Sept. 15 to Dec. 3. Nineteen boys and men, ages 14 to 27, have been charged in connection with the rapes, the most recent arrest last Wednesday.
Court documents and dozens of interviews over several weeks with the girl's family, her friends and neighbors, as well as those who know the defendants, provide a more complete picture of what occurred as well as a deeper portrait of the victim. What begins to emerge is the nightmarish ordeal of a young girl over two and a half months involving an eclectic group of young men, some with criminal records, who shared a powerful neighborhood bond.
You can read more of the sordid details as they're recounted by the Times. The Cleveland police department and local district attorney have released little information, so the case continues to mount widespread suspicion from the local community.
The unidentified girl has reportedly moved to another town and been placed in a foster home for her own protection. Meanwhile, her family has been ordered to attend group counseling in order to regain custody. Her father Juan (who's last name is being withheld for obvious reasons), who's unable to work, says that he's despondent at the prospect of losing his daughter permanently. "You can see she's not happy," he told the Times. "She will never recover from this."
Gender columnist Akiba Solomon has been following the case, including the community's horrific response and ways that black men are fighting against rape to help counter centuries' old stereotypes. It's must-see coverage in a case that's growing more maddening by the day.