Hispanics Speak Out in Rape Case

Women in the local Hispanic community are speaking out over comments being made about the 11-year old victim in an alleged gang rape case. The sexual assault took place in the Cleveland area, northeast of Houston. The women say some of the things being said about the young girl are unacceptable. Bill Stamps has more.

Female leaders and activists in Houston’s Hispanic community are outraged over comments made by fellow activist Quanell X. Speaking to citizens in the Cleveland area, northeast of Houston, he reportedly said Hispanics have a right to upset with the men involved in the rape, but the first house they need to stop at is the house of the girl’s parents.

It’s these comments and others that have women like Yolanda Black Navarro upset.

“People out in the community were stating: ‘It’s the way she was dressed. Where was her mother and daddy? They should have stopped at her house first.’ And I think we wanted to make sure people realize this is not an issue about that. It’s an issue a sexual assault. It’s an issue about the protection of our children.”

Some people in the Cleveland area have reported made statements about the way the girl looked and how she dressed. Navarro says comments like that are particularly upsetting.

“Outrage. Outrage that the first thing out of a person’s mouth would be that, as opposed to saying, ‘How could this happen to an eleven year old child?’ A male, female how could this happen?’ You are judging. How could you judge that? She’s eleven.”

Sylvia Gonzales is with LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens. She says when it comes to rape, especially when a young girl is involved, the law is the law.

“This child is protected under the Texas Penal Code, the Family Code. This is a violation of a child. Regardless, if she looked older. Regardless of what she was wearing. There’s no justification for any of those remarks that were made by an advocate of the defense.”

The women say they are supporting the girl’s family in any way they can. The victim has reportedly been put into a foster home and while the rest of the family continues to suffer, including the mom who is said to have cancer. This is Gonzales.

“This family has been terrorized. They have had to move their brothers and sisters to other schools. Some of these children are in honors society and so forth. Now we have to do fundraisers for the family and it’s unfortunate that this had to happen.”

As for the case itself, 19 young men and boys have been charged. Investigators believe even more may have been involved.

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