APD investigating gang rape of 13-year-old girl


by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS


Posted on July 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 18 at 9:21 PM

AUSTIN -- Austin police are investigating the gang rape of a 13-year-old girl in North Austin.

Austin police answered a call to the Avalon Palms apartment complex at Rundberg and Northgate.

Detectives say the girl ran away from her group home, Settlement Home for Children, on June 30, and got into a car with three strangers.

According to an arrest affidavit, they took her inside an apartment and raped her. She says a group of 10 men cheered and filmed the assault with cellphones. Then, each one took turns assaulting her. It lasted from 10 p.m. into the early morning hours the following day.
She says the men then dumped her off on the side of the road. 

Some neighbors say they're not surprised about the incident with all the gang and drug activity in the area.

"They need to be locked up," said David Green, who lives nearby. "She's only 13. She didn't have a chance to grow up. She's going to be traumatized for the rest of her life."

A medical exam confirmed the trauma to the teen's body matches her story.

So far, police have arrested two men, -- 26-year-old Edgar Perez and 24-year-old Juan Ortega. However, an arrest affidavit says as many as 10 men may have had sex with the girl.

Perez and Ortega are charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first degree felony. If convicted, they face up to life in prison.

Police are looking for more men in addition to the two arrested.

KVUE is working to find out why the girl ran away from Settlement Home for Children. Neither Austin police nor the home will comment. Settlement Home for Children is a residential treatment center located in North Austin. It helps girls ages seven to 18 who have been been abused and neglected.

Child protective services has not launched an investigation, but says they will tell KVUE if they do.