2 teens plead guilty in sex assault broadcast on Facebook Live

Two teenage boys pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl broadcast live on Facebook last March.

As part of a plea deal with Cook County prosecutors, the two 15-year-olds pleaded guilty to a single count of child pornography and will be sentenced to probation.

Judge Patricia Mendoza, assigned to the juvenile division, said she would decide the length of the probation by their January sentencing.

Prosecutors had sought prison for both.

The Facebook Live sex assault sent shock waves through the victim’s West Side neighborhood. The girl, a high school freshman, went missing on March 19 after she was dropped off at her Lawndale home by her uncle, according to her family. The next day, her family became aware of the video and took screenshots to the Ogden District police station, where the mother ran into police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

At the time of the assault, authorities said as many as six males assaulted the victim. By April, the two teens were charged with the sexual assault.

Then last month, a third boy, also 15, was also charged, Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney office, said Tuesday. He also appeared before Mendoza on Tuesday but is still in the early stages of his case, Simonton said.

The two who pleaded guilty appeared separately before Mendoza on Tuesday afternoon with their attorneys at their side.

Neither the victim nor her family attended Tuesday’s court hearing.

While their families looked on, the teens, dressed in street clothes, agreed to register as sex offenders as part of the plea deal.

Additional charges faced by the two — including aggravated criminal sexual assault and the manufacture of child pornography — were dropped.

As news of the attack spread, people began harassing the girl’s family, making threats, the mother had told the Tribune. She said the taunts had been just as bad online, where the mother said she's seen people laughing at her daughter.

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Twitter @MidNoirCowboy


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Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune

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