Bond Set For Suspects In Gang Rape

STICKNEY, Ill. (CBS) — Four young men have been charged with gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in west suburban Stickney and recording part of the brutal attack with a cell phone camera.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the attack began as a social media rendezvous between the girl and one of the alleged rapists.

Alex Picallo, 16; Majeed Khalifeh, 18; and Jonathan Leanos, 19 – all of Stickney – and Vicente Hernandez, 22, of Cicero, all were charged with two counts each of aggravated criminal sexual assault in the incident at Leanos’ Stickney home Saturday, according to Cook County prosecutors.

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, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. All are charged as adults.

Hernandez was ordered held on $600,000 bond. He appeared combative and defiant as he was driven from the Stickney Police Department Jail to his bond hearing.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, the father of two young girls appeared to throw gang signs and extend his middle finger at news cameras, despite being handcuffed in the back of a squad car. His brother later said Hernandez is innocent.

“He’s probably very upset because people think he’s something that he really isn’t,” Felix Hernandez told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman.

Stickney Police Detective Mark Kozelka told Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller that he has seen the video that the defendants allegedly made of the attack.

“After seeing the video, there’s no doubt in my mind that what happened is what she alleged actually happened.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports

Police called 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. 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 her cell phone, raped her and then took the girl to pick up Khalifeh and Hernandez, then returned to his home where Picallo met them, authorities said.

The four defendants then allegedly raped the girl repeatedly, filming part of the attack with her cell phone camera.

But, Jonathan Leanos’ older brother, Jose, defended 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 said 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.

Investigators said it wasn’t a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, but a brutal crime.

But Hernandez’s defense attorney, Marco Raimondi, said the case laid out Thursday in the Bridgeview courthouse was not what it seems. He said that his client is a hard-working young father who holds down two jobs to support his girlfriend, kids and an ailing grandfather.

“I don’t think anybody should make up their minds. This is a young man who’s presumed not guilty and he’s entitled to a trial and nobody should make up their minds,” Raimondi said. “I’m not so sure that there is video evidence or what the video evidence is.”

  • Jack, Chicago, IL

    I think all four should be killed, and his brother and lawyer.

    • KKS


  • JK

    Parents of the 14 year-old should be punished also for letting her go out meeting sttrangers from the internet.

  • Mary

    @ JK: Do you honestly think that if the parents knew where she was going they would have “allowed” her to go? She’s a teenager, and unfortunately they lie quite often. I’m she she said she was going out with friends or something. No parent in their right mind would “allow” their child to meet somebody they met on-line.

  • Mike Leahy

    This, if true, is one step below murder. If found guilty…..give all 4 the max. No plea deals. Charge them with every single crime they commited. All 4 would be equally guilty of everything.

  • RB

    Again, the dangers of online socialization. First, parents have a responsibility to monitor such things. Perhaps they did monitor this and the child got around them somehow. The child put herself in such a terrible situation that doesn’t deserve to happen to anyone.

    As for the four, it’s obvious that even the oldest of them all (at 22), is as dumb as a box of rocks. Ages of 18, 19, and 22, have no business dealing with someone so young. Should the book be thrown at them? MOST DEFINITELY?

    But I am a believer of what you do to someone, be ready for it to come back to you. I feel all of four of them should go through the experience of being raped by men, having someone unwanted all over of them. They should see, feel and experience what that child of 14 had to go through. Four big brutes, taking on someone probably much smaller and weaker than any of them. But that’s just like what a bully would do..pick on someone smaller than them.

    Put ’em each individually in a cell, with 4 other “Big Bubbas” Then while they get ripped a new one against their will, it’ll give them a chance to think about how they forced themselves on another human being.

    Once all that is done, then I’d agree with Jack, but only punish the people who did the crime.

    And let it be nationwide. Make them be the examples and show the rest of the nutcases who may contemplate this, know that punishment will be shoved on them and is imminent.

    • Average Guy

      Yes, I agree they should spend a considerable amount of time in prison for what they have done. But, do you actually think that giving the criminal the same or, similar sentence as the victim will act as a deterrent to future criminal behavior? The death penalty hasn’t deterred murder. So, exposing the perpetrator to sexual assault will scare future sexual assault perpetrators?

  • BB

    All predators raping a 14 year old..
    May they get the same in jail..
    He thought he had a GIRLFRIEND?
    This should be a death penalty offense..
    An exception to the rule…

  • Tired Of Evil

    I agree with RB and think all 4 and their lawyer should be thrown in a cell with 4 big Bubbas and let them have it . AND then should all be castrated completely and left in a cold damp cell to DIE!

  • Jerry O Henderson

    Me personally think,that they should be shot

  • Centurion

    NO BOND! These pigs should be taken to Cook County Jail…and dropped into Gen Pop. Let them find out what its like to be on the other side of a gang rape!

  • MadSam

    These kids are predators, to do something like that to an innocent girl, who has said “NO”, to having sex, then repeatedly raping her, along with friends, these guys need to experience some real pain!! They should be tossed into a cell with four ‘lifers’, who have the tendencey to like younger inmates, and one way or another, let them have their fun with these spoiled brats. You wanna be a tough guy, rape girls, well, let’s see how tough you are in state prison, when everyone knows you as a RAPIST. Either that, or let her father and uncles,brothers, exact revenge in her honor…to record that, these kids need a permanent lesson in manners.

  • blob

    If I was the parents of that girl, I would be going after the stupid brother as well. He alleged the girl was willing and like “that”

  • randomguy

    i went to school with 2 of these guys… never seen this coming

  • Bond Set For Suspects In Gang Rape | Teen Newspaper

    […] Bond Set For Suspects In Gang Rape Four young men have been charged with gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in west suburban Stickney and recording part of the brutal attack with a cell phone camera. Read more on CBS Chicago […]

  • free man

    I think that they should let the joungest one go but make him learn his lesson but the others should be thrown in jail because they are already old

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