Not only are the media intentionally ignoring this story, the immigration status of the Muslim perpetrators is being kept secret by the government.
Editor’s note: The mother’s name has been changed on her request to protect her safety.
More than a month after her 5-year-old daughter was allegedly raped by a child refugee from Iraq, Laney Shelly of Twin Falls, Idaho, says her little girl is still traumatized by the incident while local authorities have denied her access to basic documents such as the 911 transcripts, police and medical reports.
The Twin Falls mother also stands by initial reports, denied by police, that it took officers more than two hours to arrive on the scene after they were called to the Fawnbrook Apartments on June 2.
Meanwhile the family of one of the alleged perpetrators, a 7-year-old Iraqi refugee, continues to live next door to his victim despite having been served with an eviction notice.
Two older boys, both refugees from Sudan ages 10 and 14, were also charged in the incident. Their family left the complex immediately after being served with an eviction notice.
Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe account hoping to raise enough money to help them move out of the low-income complex where their daughter was molested and into a safer location.
The account has raised a little over $12,000 in 22 days. The family also needs to hire a lawyer.
“We are trying to move but the child [perpetrator] does still live here next to us. I don’t let her play outside, and my child feels like a prisoner in her own home,” Shelly said.
The mother of two children has a rare liver disease that requires her to take medication making her sensitive to the sun.
“I can’t be out there but 5 minutes at a time with my medication,” Shelly said. “She doesn’t understand why she can’t go outside and play.”
“She’s still traumatized really bad,” she said of her 5-year-old daughter, who has a developmental disability. “This week she starts in counseling. When she sees boys, she’ll tell me ‘those are bad boys, those are all bad boys.’”
Shelly, 28, is a stay-at-home mom whose other child, a son, is autistic. Her fiancé works as a chef at a nearby hotel and does not have health insurance.
The crime against their daughter was more horrific than the local prosecutor, Grant Loebs, has made it sound in his statements to local media, she said. And Shelly is also disappointed in the way local news agencies have covered the story.
“The local media, I feel like they’re against us, because they get the wrong story and they switch it around,” she told WND. “I won’t even talk to the local media. I just think everything they say is B.S.”
The Twin Falls community has been mostly supportive, she said. A group of citizens held a rally on a local bridge Saturday and made a stop at their apartment complex to show their support.
The oldest of the three refugee boys, the 14-year-old from Sudan, captured the entire incident on a video about 4 minutes in length.
“Two of them were naked and the one videotaping was coaching the others on what to do,” Shelly said.
She said she could not bring herself to watch the video but her fiancé did.
“He is missing a lot of work because it is hard for him to work, and when he goes to counseling we have to pay for it out of pocket,” she said. “He needs the counseling. It was hard for him to stay back because when this happened he wanted to hurt somebody. That is his baby.”
What the youngest boy was allegedly caught on camera doing to their daughter would definitely qualify as rape under Idaho laws.
According to Idaho Statute, Section 18-6101, “rape” is defined as “the penetration, however slight, of the oral, anal or vaginal opening” of the victim under one of more of nine circumstances. One of those circumstances is that the victim is under 16 and another is that she has a mental or developmental disability.
“I think she falls under this statute. She’s incapable of consenting, she may very well have been threatened with force or violence,” said Mark Guerry, an Idaho attorney of 25 years who ran against Loebs for county prosecutor in the last election. “I think even with what little we know there’s a case here to be made for felony rape. But, part of what’s going on, in my opinion, is the state is trying to keep this thing well under the radar so they can make a decision about how to handle this without having to face the public, and be able to dispose of it as fast as they can without it reflecting badly on them. Nobody wants the scandal of protest over someone being injured by a Muslim immigrant. Doesn’t sound to me that any of this would have ever come to light were it not for the public and people like yourself.”
Immigration status of perpetrators kept secret
Another question not being answered is the immigration status of the offenders.
Authorities have only said that the families in question, one from Sudan and the other from Iraq, have been in the United States for two years or less.
That means they are likely not yet U.S. citizens and may not even have green cards, although the latter status is a possibility. A green card affords the holder to legal permanent residency and nearly all of the same rights as a U.S. citizen. If, however, they are still here on visas, that leaves open the option of deportation, Guerry said.
“The government could begin deportation proceedings based on their conduct alone, moral turpitude, even before any conviction is entered,” he said. “Now they’re juveniles so that’s probably not going to happen, because the immigration system is going to be hesitant to deport children if their parents aren’t involved in the crime. But I think ICE could start proceedings if they are here on temporary visas at this point.”
The little girl told counselors the day after the assault that she was forced into the laundry room by a boy with a knife. No knife was found at the scene and police told the family they can’t include that on the word of a 5-year-old without evidence.
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