A corrections officer, a star high school basketball player, rapper wanna-bes, a father, some with prior drug dealing charges, robbery, prior rapes and maybe even murder – 19 in all, are accused of gang-raping an 11-year-old girl over and over, from September 3, 2010 to December 3, 2010. Eleven years old! The men range in age from 14-27. Updates below.
The girl lived in Cleveland, Texas before her family was told by police to leave town for their own safety. A photo caption on this story says: The arrest of so many young men has cast a long shadow on the town of Cleveland.” Arrests began about two months ago. At that time the girl was put into a foster home.
The girl’s family had been financially devastated when the carpenter father had to quit work due to a back injury. The mother has a mass in her brain and has refused surgery so that she can continue working at an “illicit gambling parlour.” Neighbors say water and electrical power was cut off routinely
The victim’s father said he had first become aware of the what was going on with his daughter in late November when she returned home one evening at three or four am shaking and crying.
Well, the girl did not return home “one evening.” She returned home in the wee hours of early morning. Who lets their daughter be out at these times without canvassing the neighborhood beginning no later than 9 pm to find your child? The father said she slipped out of the house without permission. The rapists sent pictures of the girl being gang-raped to the father’s cell phone. He said she would never recover.
The New York Times said the girl was an honor student, enthusiastic about her studies, planted trees with other students, hiked – a “really bubbly child.” That ended, at the latest, when sexually explicit videos of the girls made their way into the elementary and high school.
Four of the defendants are charged with “continuous sexual abuse of a young child.” The rest are charged with a single count of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14. Both felonies carry a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. In Texas, a child under 17 cannot give legal consent and, as in most states, ignorance of a child’s age is not a legal defense. At least there’s that.
Xavier King 17, Delvin King 21, Timthy Daray Ellis 19, Rayford Tyrone Ellis aka Mookie 19, Jared Cruse 18, Jamarcus Napper 18, Marcus Anthony Porchia, Jared Glenn McPherson 18, Isaiah Rashad Ross 21, Cedrick De Ray Scott 27. The two in bold text are among four accused of “continuous sexual assault on more than one occasion.”
Isaiah Rashad Ross is a corrections officer and the son of a school board member. One high school student’s name has been withhed.
The other aspect of the appalling story is that since reporting began, the girl, who is of Mexican descent, has been blamed because she is “tall” for her age. Early reporting failed to mention who the boys/men were, or their backgrounds of previous criminal history. Every alleged rapist is Black. Stacy McCain has that story in detail.
Update 4-3-11: A reader, Jenny, has just a comment with information about how to donate to this family who is in great need:
This family is suffering, as you mentioned. The mother has tumors in her brain and the father is out of work. The entire family has had to move to a new town, and they have nothing (not even beds to sleep on). I just left a little fund raiser for them in Houston. If you want to give any thing to this poor family, I found out about it at the The Houston Chronicle website (please visit for information on donating to this family:
Brenda Myers operates the Community and Children’s Impact Center in Cleveland. She says the family are not beggars, and until now have never asked for assistance, even food stamps. The following from the Houston Chronicle website linked above.
Myers has known the family five years and said they’ve never asked for assistance. “They’re not the type to beg,” she said. “They didn’t apply for food stamps until now.”
Gonzales has also found a benefactor to donate furniture.
In addition, she has organized an emergency fundraiser from 2 to 5 p.m. today at 2911 Navigation for donations of money, clothing and food.
A bank account will be set up to pay specific bills.
Yolanda Black Navarro, spokeswoman for Latinas Enhancing Advocacy and Development, said her organization and others helping the family want to ensure no one transfers “the responsibility for this crime from the perpetrators to the shoulders of this child and her parents.”
UPDATE 4-4-11: Fourteen of the nineteen men charged in the rape of this young girl are expected to appear in court today.