Raped girl's dad defends accused

Raped girl's dad defends accused

Gregory Leary, 20, one of five suspects accused of  gang-raping a 7-year-old New Jersey girl, is seen on a video monitor at a hearing in Trenton, New Jersey, on Thursday, as his attorney Robin Lord argues for his release on bail. AP

“These three had nothing to do with nothing; I don’t know why they locked them up,” the father said of Gregory Leary, 20; Timear Lewis, 19; and a 17-year-old whom authorities have not identified because of his age. “My daughter said these guys were trying to help her,” the father said.

In all, five men and boys have been arrested on suspicion of raping the girl. The other suspects are ages 13 and 14.

The 7-year-old was prostituted out by her 15-year-old stepsister, who watched as she was raped by as many as seven men and boys at a party on March 28. Investigators said that the older girl took money to have sex with several men at a party, including Leary. She then gave some of the money to the younger girl to let the men start touching her. It soon escalated to rape, police said.

Leary’s lawyer suggested in court the child had been pressured to make up the story. “I’m 100 per cent certain that the 7-year-old was not sexually assaulted. The allegations will not be substantiated by any forensic evidence,” Robin Lord said.

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