In a case straight out of sickening erotica fantasies, two US teenagers in the Florida state have been charged with leading a gang-rape of a 35-year-old woman, forcing her 12-year-old son to join the outrage, beating him and pouring some cleaning solution into his eyes.
Authorities allege Avion Lawson, 14, and Nathan Walker, 16, were among a group of about 10 masked suspects who forced their way into the woman's apartment in a crime-ridden housing project in West Palm beach the night of June 18.
AdvertisementThe two were being held without bail Friday on suspicion of armed sexual battery by multiple perpetrators, sexual performance by a child, armed home invasion and aggravated battery. Both were arrested this week, but formal charges had not been filed. Authorities said the two would be charged as adults.
"Any rape case is horrible but this takes it to another level, something you can't think of even in your worst dreams," police spokesman Ted White said.
According to the police report, a man knocked on the woman's door at about 9 p.m. and told her he had a flat tire. The mother and son, whom police have not identified, went outside and were ambushed by a group of gun-wielding suspects.
The victims told police they were forced back into their home and beaten and sexually assaulted. According to authorities, the men raped, sodomized and beat the woman, then forced her son to participate in the assault at gunpoint, making him have sex with his mother in front of them.
The boy was then beaten and had numerous household cleaning liquids poured into his eyes, according to the police report.
The suspects also stole a few hundred dollars worth of cash and jewelry, White said.
White said more arrests were expected, but he would not say whether authorities had identified additional suspects. The teens in custody were not cooperating, but Lawson confessed to taking part in the attack, White said. But Walker has denied involvement.
DNA evidence in a condom found in the victims' home linked Lawson to the crime, police said. Investigators also say they found a palm print belonging to Walker at the scene.
Lawson lived in Dunbar Village, the hardscrabble project where the attack occurred. Walker was apparently visiting a friend there, White said.
Authorities believe the suspects all knew each other from the neighborhood, but they don't think they knew the victims directly.
Prosecutors have 21 days from the time a suspect is arrested to formally file charges. Lawson was arrested Tuesday. Walker was arrested Thursday.
The 16-year-old Walker, in chains and a jail jumpsuit sat, in a juvenile court Friday, with his mom and dad by his side, to face charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.
Walker made a first court appearance on Friday, after which his father, also named Nathan Walker, spoke briefly.
Walker's mother, Ruby Walker, cried at the sight of her son. She declined to talk about the case.
Walker's father, also named Nathan Walker, sat next to her. He later addressed reporters, soft-spoken and sad.
"I love my son. I'm going to stick by him. I don't teach violence to my son so it really puzzles me," said Walker. "Maybe he's just hanging out with the wrong crowd. I don't know."
He acknowledged he hasn't spent as much time with his son as he should have after parting ways with the boy's mother. But he said his son is shy and timid and they went to places like the Fun Depot arcade together.
"It's been a while since I really spent a lot of time with him," Walker said.
In the meantime, his son has been getting in trouble with the law.
Walker is scheduled to be in juvenile court in two weeks for an earlier arrest. He is charged as a juvenile with trespassing on school property, resisting arrest without violence, criminal mischief and loitering at Roosevelt Middle School on two occasions in May.
According to the arrest report, Walker spent a lot of time with friends in Dunbar Village, though he lived on Brandywine Road in West Palm Beach.
"My son has a good heart," the elder Walker said outside court. "I can't believe my son would do something like this. I don't teach my son violence so I don't understand."
The victims did not suffer life-threatening injuries and have been released from the hospital. They have since moved out of Dunbar. Their apartment is boarded up. They are trying to recover.
The victims were active in their church, and several members of the large Haitian congregation have tried to reach out, said the woman's pastor.
"She's not doing well, but she's tough," the pastor said. "She believes in God, and she hopes that God will take care of her and her family."