artcomplexap.jpgACWORTH, Georgia (AP) — They could barely see over the courtroom table, and their legs were too short to reach the floor: An 8-year-old and two 9-year-old boys, accused of raping an 11-year-old neighbor. A girl, 11, says three boys, ages 8 and 9, raped her in a field behind this Acworth, Georgia, apartment complex.

The case sent shockwaves through this community some 30 miles north of Atlanta, particularly in the working class apartment complex where the children live. “It’s just hard to understand,” said Chris Ware, who has lived in the complex three years. The boys are accused of forcing a girl they were playing with into a litter-strewn wooded area behind the complex Thursday. She said she was threatened with a rock, and that one of the boys raped her, according to Acworth Police Chief Mike Wilkie.

Authorities said the girl waited until Saturday to tell her family, who then reported it to police. Video Watch the girl describe what happened to her » But the father of one of the boys told WGCL-TV that the girl made up the rape allegations to cover her own behavior. “She’s trying to cover her own butt by getting everyone else in more serious trouble,” the station’s Web site quotes the father as saying.

Reporters were briefly allowed in the courtroom where the tiny suspects sat Monday in restraints and navy blue jumpsuits. Juvenile Court Judge A. Gregory Poole ruled against media requests for access, then closed off the hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to hold the boys. Poole also issued a sweeping gag order instructing participants in the case not to talk to the press.

Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head said the boys could not be charged with felonies because of their age but could be tried for alleged delinquent acts that could place them in a juvenile facility for up to five years. The next step will be for the court to schedule a hearing to determine how to proceed, Head said. Wilkie also said the investigation is “far from over,” and investigators are looking into claims that after the alleged attack, the girl talked about it with her friends at a slumber party.

The girl’s mother told WGCL, “They do need to be taught a lesson because if they do it to her, they could do it to somebody else. And who knows when they become teenagers what they can do to other girls.” Police in this town of about 17,000 along the shores of Lake Allatoona said they have never investigated rape allegations where all the parties were so young. “This wouldn’t be normal anywhere, but especially not Acworth,” police Capt. Wayne Dennard said.
[Source: AP & CNN]

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  • Nicole

    What’s really going on with our youth?! First the Dunbar Village incident and now this?! :(

  • Did they send to the little girl to the doctor to verify that she had been raped?

  • When kids rape others doesn’t it often mean someone in their life raped them therefore they copy the behavior of their abuser(s)? If it is true, I wonder where those boys even got the idea of rape from…

    • rene

      You’re right. As a retired Social Worker in child welfare agency, children that young don’t come up with ideas regarding sex on their own. I would bet that the boys were either sexually assaulted themselves or witnessed sexual acts in their homes. This is why everyone is responsible for being vigilant about what is going on with our children.

    • Karrie

      I can’t imagine that sending the boys to Juvie would do anything but teach them more ugly things. I hope their families will be investigated however.