Chicago Police announced on Twitter Sunday that they had arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that had been streamed live on Facebook in March.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said more arrests are expected as the investigation continues. Police have said the attack involved five or six males, and Guglielmi said the boy “was one of the offenders in the video.”
The spokesman has said police were not aware of the mid-March attack until the girl’s mother approached Johnson as he was leaving a police station on the city’s West Side and showed him the video. Johnson was “visibly upset” after he watched, both by the video’s content and the fact that there were “40 or so live viewers and no one thought to call authorities,” Guglielmi said.
The girl was reported missing from Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood after she went to the store and did not return. Then the girl’s mother was alerted to the Facebook Live video of the attack, which she showed to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. The girl was found the next day, taken to the hospital and reunited with her family.
“Due to the graphic content that I observed, I don’t want to go into the detail of what was on the video, but I want to tell you that the young men responsible, they should be ashamed of themselves,” Johnson said during Sunday’s news conference. “They’ve humiliated themselves, they’ve humiliated their families, and now they’re going to be held accountable for what they did.”
Police have said that the attack involved five or six people, and that 40 people watched the assault live on Facebook and did not call the authorities.
The girl’s mother told The Associated Press last month that her daughter received online threats following the attack and that neighborhood kids were ringing her doorbell looking for the girl. The Chicago Sun-Times later reported that the girl’s family had been relocated.
The video marks the second time in recent months that Chicago police have investigated an apparent attack that was broadcast live on Facebook. In January, four people were arrested after video showed them allegedly taunting and beating a mentally disabled man.