A 15-year-old Chicago teen was reportedly sexually assaulted by five to six men who broadcast the rapes on Facebook Live—and none of the dozens of people who watched the live stream contacted police, investigators said.
Chicago Police only found out about the sexual assault after the girl’s mother approached the police superintendent in person as he was leaving a police station on Monday afternoon, police said. She told him that her daughter had been missing since Sunday and showed him screenshots of the sexual assault live stream, the AP reported.
The video of the live stream still had not been removed from Facebook at this point, and only was removed after police contacted the social networking company themselves.
Police found the girl on early Tuesday crying on a porch, WGN in Chicago reported. She is now recovering in the hospital.
Her uncle told The Chicago Tribune that her face is swollen and her lips are bleeding, possibly because she was hit in the face. He believed the assault was the work of a local gang, the Tribune reported.
Police have located persons of interest in the case but there are no suspects and no one has been arrested yet, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
About 40 people watched the live stream, police said, but police would not know who they were unless they subpoenaed Facebook, the AP said.
Northwestern University law professor Jeffrey Urdangen, who heads the school’s Center for Criminal Defense, told the AP that it wouldn’t be illegal to watch the video and not report it to police, and that child porn charges couldn’t be filed against the video’s viewers unless the video was downloaded.
This is the second horrific assault broadcast Facebook Live in Chicago this year. In January, four suspects were charged with hate crimes after they allegedly kidnapped and beat a mentally disabled man and live streamed the assault.
"Crimes like this are hideous and we do not allow that kind of content on Facebook," said Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Facebook, in a statement to the AP.
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