"These three had nothing to do with nothing," the stepfather said of Gregory Leary, 20, Timear Lewis, 19, and a 17-year-old whom police have not identified. "I don't know why they locked them up."
The stepfather was summoned to the courthouse by family members of the suspects, for what seems to be a rather strange alliance.
"Please tell them my son did not do this," Tracy Lewis said. "He was there but he didn't touch anyone."
In all, five men and boys have been arrested on suspicion of raping the girl. The other suspects are ages 13 and 14. The 15-year-old stepsister of the victim also has been charged with promoting prostitution.Police say there is DNA evidence of the crime, but the prosecution may hinge on the word of the little girl, her troubled stepsister and the other men and boys who watched the crime.
According to police, the 7-year-old was prostituted out by her 15-year-old stepsister, who watched as she was raped by as many as seven men and boys at a party at the Rowan Tower apartments on March 28. As many as a dozen people were at the party, held in a vacant apartment in the crime-plagued public housing complex not far from the New Jersey Statehouse, said police.
Leary is charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He made his first court appearance Thursday and was ordered held on $500,000 bail. He is also accused of statutory rape; police and his attorney say he has admitted having sex with the 15-year-old.
Leary denied having sex with the younger girl, according to officials. His lawyer suggested Thursday in court that the child had been pressured to make up the story.
However, according to officials, several witnesses at the party told police they saw Leary "on top of the 7-year-old," raping her.
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