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Arizona

Not-guilty plea in rape case

August 11, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A Liberian teenager charged as an adult in the alleged gang rape of an 8-year-old girl pleaded not guilty at a Phoenix hearing.

The youth, 14, appeared by video. Commissioner Brian Rees entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf and set his next hearing for Sept. 21.

Police allege the 14-year-old, along with three other young Liberian refugees ages 10 to 13, lured the girl to an empty storage shed July 16, then restrained and raped her.

The case ignited an international outcry after police reported that the girl's father said they were ashamed of her and didn't want her back, which led Child Protective Services to take custody of her. Family advocates say that the comments were the result of a language barrier and that the girl's family wants her back.

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