El Salvadoran immigrant Leby Urquilla, 15, will be prosecuted as an adult in the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl who has the mental capacity of a 7- or 8-year-old, according to the ruling of a Las Vegas judge on Wednesday.
Urquilla is one of four boys charged, but so far, he’s the only juvenile who will be treated as an adult. His father, Leby Alas-Gomez, 39, and Jose Mejia-Henriquez, 18, also participated in the rape and are currently in prison.
A video which showed the girl being raped by the group began circulating around Del Sol Academy in December, which tipped off police, who learned from the victim herself that she was sexually assaulted by at least six males on three separate occasions in November.
“They treated this special needs girl like a piece of cattle or property, to do with what they wanted,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Adams in court, calling what happened “heinous and egregious” as she made the case for Urquilla to be tried as an adult.
Adams noted that in the video, the girl is seen struggling to stop the sexual assault. “She repeatedly said to stop, but they don’t,” she said. “She tries to cross her legs while on her stomach, but (Urquilla) separates them.”
The girl’s mother attended the hearing, crying as she listened to Adams describe Urquilla as a predator and her special-needs daughter as “one of the most vulnerable victims of our society.”
Adams recalled how the girl often ate lunch with the boys at school and was apparently “used and groomed by (Urquilla),” who repeatedly invited her to his apartment until she agreed.
The rapists’ public defender, Timothy O’Brien, said that Urquilla had been in the United States only for about a year, and how there was an “unrelenting” sexual atmosphere, in their home where pornography was played “like music in an elevator” and prostitutes were regular visitors.
O’Brien defended Urquilla by saying the boy performed “in a sexually naive way” in the video, to which Adams replied, “Part of the problem there may have been that he didn’t have a willing participant.”
Urquilla’s next court date is May 4. It’s unknown whether he is in the country legally or not.
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