Two Florida teenagers have been accused of gang raping a woman and forcing her to have sex with her 12-year-old son, who was then beaten and had cleaning solution poured in his eyes, police said.
“Any rape case is horrible but this takes it to another level, something you can’t think of even in your worst dreams,” West Palm Beach police spokesman Ted White said.
Authorities allege that Avion Lawson, 14, and Nathan Walker, 16, were among a group of up to 10 masked suspects who forced their way into the woman’s home the night of June 18. They are being held without bail.
According to the police report, a man knocked on the woman’s door and told her he had a flat tyre. The mother and son, whom police have not identified, went outside and were ambushed by a group of gun-wielding masked suspects.
The victims told police they were forced back into the house and beaten and sexually assaulted. According to authorities, the men raped, sodomised and beat the woman, then forced her 12-year-old 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.
White said robbery might have been a motive. He said the suspects stole a few hundred dollars worth of cash and jewellery.
Lawson and Walker were jailed without bail 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. Formal charges had not yet been filed.
White said more arrests were expected, but he would not say if authorities had identified additional suspects. The teens in custody were not cooperating and both have denied involvement, police said.
But 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.
The victims did not suffer life-threatening injuries and have since been released from the hospital, White said.
Lawson lived in the hard-scrabble, crime-ridden housing project where the attack occurred. Walker was apparently visiting a friend there, White said. Authorities believe the suspects all knew each other from the neighbourhood, but they don’t think they knew the victims directly.
Published in The Sydney Mornng Herald July 7, 2007 – 10:05AM