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Gang Rape Of 15-Year-Old Was On Facebook Live; Police Search For Attackers

By  Kelly Bauer and Stephanie Lulay | March 21, 2017 11:04am | Updated on March 21, 2017 5:22pm

CHICAGO — A 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing was gang-raped on Facebook Live, officials said.

The girl went missing Sunday. On Tuesday, Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police Department spokesman, announced she had been found by Ogden District officers and reunited with her mother.

The family of the girl approached Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson at a news conference on Monday, told him they'd seen her being sexually assaulted by several boys in a video on Facebook Live and showed him stills from the video, Guglielmi said.

Johnson took the girl's mother aside and called the chief of detectives.

Officers found the girl in the street Tuesday, Guglielmi said, and she was taken to a hospital and reunited with her mother.

Officers are trying to identify people in the video, who they think are boys, Guglielmi said. That search was "going well," he said, and officers were interviewing people.

On Tuesday evening a source said police were questioning a juvenile who might have been involved with the filming of the incident, but no one has been charged in connection with the case.

The girl's family told WGN on Monday that they saw a Facebook Live video of the girl being sexually assaulted by several boys.

The video was removed by Facebook, the family told WGN, but the station said the family had graphic screenshots from the video.

“What’s even more disturbing, more than the fact that they did this: There were so many people that saw this and they didn’t pick up the phone and dial 911,”  Johnson told WGN. “That’s just not right, and [we’re] working on it and try to bring it to a successful resolution.”

Ald. Michael Scott Jr., whose 24th Ward includes North Lawndale, said police believe the North Lawndale girl knew her attackers. 

Scott said the victim has "a good head on her shoulders."

Scott's office has been in contact with the victim's family, he said. 

"We pray that everything is OK with her and everything turns out all right," he said.

The attack hits home for Scott, a father of three. 

"I have a 12-year-old daughter; she's headed to seventh grade at a magnet or special-enrollment school next year," Scott said, on a campus that will likely also serve high school-age students. "It gives you pause as you attempt to determine: Who is she socializing with? Who's in her inner circle?"

The assault is one of several high-profile crimes that have been live-streamed on Facebook in Chicago. Last month, a pregnant woman was recording herself on Facebook Live when a gunman opened fire, wounding her and killing a 2-year-old and a man.

In January, four people were charged with a hate crimes in the kidnapping and torturing of a mentally disabled suburban man on Facebook Live.

In 2016, a man was live streaming when he was shot and fatally wounded in North Lawndale. Also in 2016 a man taking a selfie video was shot on Facebook. He survived that incident, but was shot to death months later.

"I'm dismayed at the way that social media continues to rear its head in incidents that happen on the greater West Side and North Lawndale," Scott said. "Facebook Live is becoming all too real in our society."