Thursday, June 7, 2012
Four gang members from Newton have been charged in an alleged rape case that happened between April 21 and 22.
"I've been here for 10 years as a county attorney, this is the worst act of alleged gang violence that has occurred since I've been here," said David Yoder, Harvey County Attorney.
Four men, which include two adults and two juveniles, allegedly committed a gang rape of a 41-year-old woman from Newton. According to her testimony, the crime was part of a gang initiation for the 14-year-old involved.
Yoder said the woman's testimony claimed the men took turns raping and sodomizing her at two locations, including in the countryside and at one of the men's homes.
"This was not a random act. It did in fact involve members of a gang, but these people were acquaintances. This wasn't a citizen of the community that was randomly picked," said Detective Mitchell Nedrow, Newton Police.
According to the complaint filed in district court, Tyler Rigby and Anthony Walker Jr. have been formally charged with rape, criminal sodomy, and threatening the victim with a knife.
"She waited a little of time to report it because she was frankly scared of what might happen," said Yoder.
Newton Police said gangs are present in the community but have not posed this type of problem.
"I personally don't want gang members within our community and I don't want people to become victimized by gang members, which is why our department is proactive in trying to prevent the memberships from expanding as well as from allowing them to actively operate within the city," said Nedrow.
The charge of rape carries a maximum sentence of more than 54 years in prison.
The preliminary hearings for Rigby and Walker continue on June 18. This will also serve as the hearing to prosecute the 17-year-old as an adult.
The 14-year-old is being prosecuted through the juvenile offender system.
Correction: An earlier version of this story contained a mugshot of a person not charged in the case. Harvey County authorities mistakenly released a mugshot of a man who has the same name as one of the men accused in this crime. kake.com apologizes for the error.