Before Child's Rape Came to Light, Nightmarish Months

Something changed in 'bubbly' 11-year-old after start of 6th grade

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 29, 2011 10:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – The story of the 11-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by 19 men in Texas is already sad enough—but in a new piece, the New York Times delves further into the nightmarish months before police learned of the situation, during which the girl was allegedly raped on at least six occasions. She and her family—both parents immigrated from Mexico—lived in a small house on the outskirts of town where the water and electricity had recently been cut off due to money troubles; both parents also had health problems. Even so, until September, the alleged victim had been an honor roll student and a "bubbly child" who "always had a smile on her face," says the director of a youth group the girl was involved with.

That all changed in October, when she withdrew and stopped attending meetings. She also started sneaking out of her house two or three times a week, her father says, sometimes coming home as late as midnight. On the morning her parents say they found out about the alleged assaults, in late November, she didn't come in until 3 or 4am. He says they made a police report three days later, but police say they were first alerted in December, by school authorities. The article offers a chilling look at the documents involved; affidavits reveal that during one assault, the girl heard one man calling others to invite them over to have sex with her. Four more men arrived, none of whom she knew. Click for more here or here.

This March 3, 2011 photo shows an abandoned trailer in in Cleveland, Texas where court documents allege that some of the assaults of an 11-year-old girl took place over Thanksgiving break last year.
This March 3, 2011 photo shows an abandoned trailer in in Cleveland, Texas where court documents allege that some of the assaults of an 11-year-old girl took place over Thanksgiving break last year.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran)
In this March 8, 2011 photo, trash sits outside an abandoned trailer in Cleveland, Texas where authorities say an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in November 2010.
In this March 8, 2011 photo, trash sits outside an abandoned trailer in Cleveland, Texas where authorities say an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in November 2010.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
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