The NYPD has arrested each of the five suspects in a horrendous gang rape story that took place in Brooklyn last Thursday (Jan. 7). An 18-year-old woman was reportedly sexually abused by five boys in Brownsville’s Osborn Playground. The final suspect, 17-year-old Travis Beckford, was taken into custody on Tuesday (Jan. 12). The other four suspects, Denzel Murray, 14; Shaquell Cooper, 15; Ethan Phillip, 15; and Onandi Brown, 17, appeared in court for arraignment. All five offenders are being charged as adults with rape, sex abuse and committing a criminal sex act, the New York Daily News reports.
According to multiple accounts, the victim, who has not been identified, was seen with her father at the playground and approached by the suspects. One of the young teens drew a gun on her father, who retreated to a nearby store to attempt and make a call to the police. Witnesses at the store claim he was intoxicated, and bystanders were unable to understand his predicament. The suspect suffered cuts to her arms, neck and knees, officers reported. Two of the boys have claimed that the sexual acts were consensual, and that the victim was engaging in sexual intercourse with her father before their alleged attack.
“The case is getting weaker by the day,” Spencer Leeds, a lawyer for one of the suspects told the Daily News. “This case is on its way to disappearing. There’s a belief in the neighborhood in the Brownsville community that the complaining witness and the father have had sexual intercourse.”
The victim was reportedly in and out of foster care, and has not been in her father’s custody since she was three years old. Two of the offenders have had run-ins with the law prior to this incident; Beckford was previously arrested for marijuana possession, and Cooper was arrested in October for hitting a robbery victim in the head with a baseball bat. Brown was held on $25,000 bail, Cooper was held on $50,000 bail and Phillip and Murray were held on $10,000 bail. Two of the suspects were brought into police custody by their parents, WABC News reports.
The weapon pulled in the attack has not been recovered, and the results in the victim’s rap kit is still pending.