Man, 3 Teens Charged In Gang Rape
UPDATED 01/13/11 11:46 a.m.
STICKNEY, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) – What began as a social media rendezvous turned into a brutal gang rape in suburban Stickney, and authorities say it was all videotaped on a cell phone.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, a 14-year-old girl was the victim of the attack.
A man and three teenage boys have been charged in the attack. Alex Picallo, 16, Majeed Khalifeh, 18, and Jonathan Leanos, 19, all of Stickney, were each charged with two counts each of aggravated criminal sexual assault in the incident at Leanos’ Stickney home Saturday, according to Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Stickney Police Detective Mark Kozelka told Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller that he has seen that video.
“After seeing the video, there’s no doubt in my mind that what happened is what she alleged actually happened.”
A fourth suspect, Vicente Hernandez, 22, of Cicero, was also later charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault in connection with the case, Stickney police said in a news release.
Picallo was ordered held on $500,000 bail Tuesday. Khalifeh and Leanos appeared in court in Bridgeview on Wednesday and were ordered held in lieu of $600,000 and $750,000 bail, respectively, Simonton said. All are charged as adults.
Hernandez was to appear for a bond hearing later Thursday at the Bridgeview courthouse, the release said.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports
Police call the assault disgusting and outrageous.
“It’s disturbing,” said Kozelka, “multiple times, multiple offenders, over a long period of time – it’s just alarming.”
Leanos met the victim online last summer, and they met several times before Leanos took the victim to his house Saturday, Simonton said.
The alleged assault happened in the 3900 block of Wesley Avenue, the release said. Leanos, who met the girl on MySpace in the summer of 2010, allegedly asked the girl to have sex with him.
When she refused, he allegedly took the girl to pick up Khalifeh and Hernandez, then returned to his home where Picallo met them, the release said. Leanos allegedly told the victim to have sex with his friends and the encounter was filmed on a cell phone, the release said.
But, Jonathan Leanos’ older brother, Jose, is defending the teen.
“He was getting a job; he was turning himself back around,” Jose Leanos said.
Jose Leanos said the cell phone video would prove his brother’s innocence. He said his brother initially had been excited at the prospect of having a girlfriend.
“He thought he had a girlfriend. He thought everything was good, ‘I’ve got a girlfriend! I’m in love!.’” Jose Leanos said, “and now she turns around and to be like this.”
Detectives say they spoke with the victim and her family since Saturday, and she told them she doesn’t know how she’ll ever forget about the incident.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.