8-Year-Old Girl Raped by Boy in Harlem Library, Sources Say
HARLEM — An 8-year-old girl was raped inside the bathroom of a public library Wednesday afternoon, sources said.
The girl went to the restroom at the Countee Cullen Library branch at 104 W. 136th St. near Lenox Avenue about 5:30 p.m., when she was attacked by a 13-year-old boy, according to library officials.
The girl did not report the attack immediately, but told her family when she got home, sources said.
They went to the police, and officers identified the teen attacker through video surveillance outside the library. Police took him into custody Thursday at a nearby public library, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which is around the corner from Countee Cullen, NYPL officials said.
His name was not immediately released. Police did not immediately have information on the attack.
The incident took place inside a unisex bathroom, which requires keys to enter and serves one person at the time, sources said.
The library branch was closed all day Thursday while police investigated, they said.
"The New York Public Library is deeply disturbed by this incident," library officials said, adding that they are cooperating with the NYPD. "The NYPL's security team and staff at the the Countee Cullen Library are working closely with the NYPD to help in every way possible with its investigation."
Parents and children headed into the branch only to find it closed said they were shocked by the news of the alleged rape.
Marie Watson said she comes to the library all the time with her 9-year-old son, Rahmel Lamb.
"You hear about gunshots and maybe drugs in the area but for a little girl to get raped, I'm in shock," Watson said.
A street vendor said he saw the police take a boy into custody on Thursday.
"I saw the police bringing a boy out in handcuffs but I didn't know that's why they wanted him," said the vendor, who declined to give his name.