A trial is underway in the case of two teen girls who are accused of beating another 15-year-old girl, supposedly a friend, and holding her down while one of several young men in the house raped her. Where to even begin to process the cruelty and mystery surrounding this case? How about here: There were several other men in the house who did nothing to stop this.
There was a man who filmed the whole attack on his cellphone -- on his cellphone! -- who stood by and did nothing. There was a young woman who was friends with the victim since kindergarten, who not only stood by, but actually participated in the attack and allowed her friend to be raped. All of this is almost as infuriating as the crime itself. Almost. But not quite.
Patricia Montes, 15, has reportedly been stoic during the trial, but Erica Avery, 16, looks almost smug and has even smiled during testimony, which is infuriating and puzzling at the same time.
The victim herself, who of course is not being identified, told police even she doesn't know why she was attacked, why this happened. Almost always there is a reason, a provocation, a disagreement, even a small and often ridiculous one -- but that doesn't appear to be the case here. Apparently there was beer drinking and pot smoking involved, which could lend some theories. But even that's weak considering how out of hand things got.
New video of the attack (but not the sexual assault) have been released and it's disturbing to watch how this poor, half-clothed girl is being treated, both physically and emotionally. There's a lot you can't see, which is a good thing, but you certainly get enough of the gist to just want to turn it off.
She is punched, dragged by her hair along the ground, and apparently maced at some point. When asked to go home, Lanel Singleton, the man holding the camera told the victim that she would be continue to be held until she agrees to perform a sex act with Jayvon Woolfork -- which he told police but later denied he said while on the stand.
The victim was eventually allowed to leave the house but allegedly not before one of the women reportedly spit on her. She went to the hospital and reported the attack to police. All those involved are facing pretty heavy charges and are all currently in jail awaiting he outcome of the trail -- all but Montes, the supposed friend. She's out on bail.
What on earth could have caused these young women to turn on this girl? How could what seemed like a gathering of friends gotten so out of hand?
Image via Broward County Sheriff's Office