Officials in Idaho said they have arrested and charged four teenagers for the alleged sexual assault an 18-year-old woman, according to reports.
Nineteen-year-old Elias Lupango, 18-year-old Rashidi Mulanga, and 18-year-old Swedi Iyombelo, all of Boise, were charged. A 16-year-old who was not named was also arrested in the case, reported the Idaho Statesman.
Prosecutors said three of the suspects are from Tanzania—Iyombelo came to the United States five months ago and the other two arrived within the last few years, according to the report.
Bail was set for $250,000 for each of the suspects.
The 16-year-old, a refugee, is being held in juvenile detention.
The alleged victim, who was not named, said she was afraid the men would kill her, the Statesman reported.
The bond was set at $250,000 for each of the defendants.
The woman was “prevented from resistance due to an objectionable, reasonable belief that resistance would be futile or would result in violence,” said a police complaint.
A prosecutor said the woman reached out to the men and told them what they did was wrong, and they agreed and apologized.
Police took over the victim’s social media account after she contacted local law enforcement, and they agreed that the suspects would meet the victim again.
UPDATE: Men accused of Kuna gang-rape arraigned; protest innocence to judgeSTORY: on.ktvb.com/2NabnUf
“Kuna Police began their investigation Feb. 8 after being contacted by a third party,” the sheriff’s office wrote online.
The victim “told investigators she was with Iyombelo, who she just recently met, the night before in a car in a Kuna neighborhood when he began to have sexual contact with her,” the office stated, adding that “the three other teenage boys showed up.”
Then, “All four then forced themselves on the girl in the car,” according to the office.
“Detectives continued to investigate the case and develop evidence—including interviews—before arresting all four suspects between Thursday and Friday morning,” the office said.
Deputies arrested Iyombelo and Rashid close to a fast-food establishment on Feb. 14.
Lupango was taken in by police on the same day in east Boise.
The three men used an interpreter in court, reported the newspaper.
The three didn’t have the means to hire a lawyer and were appointed a public defender.
When Judge Russell Comstock asked the three if they understood the charges, a suspect said they were innocent, KTVB reported.
“Yes judge, I understand, but that’s not what we did,” Lupango responded, according to a translator.
The judge then asked them if they understood their rights, but according to one of the men, “All this is not true, judge.”
The public defender told KTVB, “There’s a little more to this story than we all know at this point.”
Another hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 27.
Officials said that felony rape is punishable by up to life imprisonment.
More of the rape of an 18 year old girl in Kuna, Idaho earlier this month. Is this what you want for your daughters?
Violent Crime Down
On a more positive note, violent and property crimes have seen a downward trend, according to statistics collected by the FBI. Some areas, however, have significantly deteriorated and others, despite improvements, still need attention.
The violent crime rate—including offenses such as murder, robbery, and aggravated assault—dropped by almost one percent and is still about 4 percent above the 2014 rate. The murder rate dropped by 0.7 percent.
The decline in crime, albeit small, cut short a worrisome spike in violence in previous years. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate had increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.
The rate of property crimes, such as theft and burglary, has declined 3.6 percent since 2016 and is down more than 26 percent since a decade ago.