Forced Confessions in 7-Year-Old's Alleged Gang Rape? Youngest Suspects May Have Been Pressured by Cops, Says Lawyer

Gregory Joseph Leary (AP/Trenton Police Dept.)
Gregory Joseph Leary (AP/Trenton Police Dept.)

TRENTON (CBS/AP) The crime, as alleged, is horrific-- the gang rape of a 7-year-old girl at a party last month in a vacant apartment in Trenton, N.J.  But people with knowledge of the police interrogation, including a lawyer for one of the five male suspects, say the two youngest suspects may have been pressured into confessing.

Two men -- 20-year-old Gregory Leary and 19-year-old Timear Lewis -- and three boys, ages 13, 14 and 17, are charged with rape. The alleged victim's 15-year-old sister,  who police say sold her to the men for sex, is  charged with promoting prostitution, aggravated sexual assault and other crimes.

Four days after the party, the 13 and 14-year-olds who live near the gritty public housing complex where police say the assault took place were brought in for questioning.

Kevin Main, who represents the 17-year-old and who has reviewed the police interrogations of the boys,  told The Associated Press that investigators put words in the boys' mouths and led them to believe they wouldn't get in trouble.

"Whatever they are agreeing to, it is with the expectation that they go home when they are done," said Main.

Police have not released the names of the juveniles. The AP generally does not identify people alleging sex crimes and is not naming the 15-year old or her parents to avoid identifying the 7-year-old alleged victim.

Last week, the 7-year-old's stepfather said Leary, Lewis and the 17-year-old actually tried to help the child, and were not involved in the rape.


PICTURES: NJ Child's Gang-Rape Case

April 8, 2010 - 7-Year-Old's Gang-Rape Story Was Made Up, Claims Suspect's Lawyer
April 2, 2010 - Man Arrested in Connection with Gang Rape of 7-Year-Old
April 1, 2010 - 27 Arrested at Site of 7-Year-Old Girl's Gang Rape; Police Say Stepsister Pimped Her to Men and Boys
April 1, 2010 - 15-Year-Old Pimped Out 7-Year-Old Stepsister at Jersey Sex Party, Say Police