21:09 GMT07 April 2020
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    A 15-year-old girl who had her sexual assault broadcast on Facebook Live is afraid to come home, according to her mother, due to harassment both online and from children in the neighborhood.

    The mother and her daughter were reunited on March 21, a day after authorities learned of the incident and two days after she went missing. The woman, 32, said the girl has been staying with a relative, as she is afraid to return home. 

    "This is just disturbing and to think the kids think it is funny," the victim’s mother said, noting that people have been threatening her daughter over Facebook, telling the girl that "they are going to get her."

    The mother said the cruelty people have shown has been shocking, with neighborhood kids ringing the doorbell looking for the girl and laughing about the incident. None of the 40 people that viewed the video stream of the attack reported it to authorities.

    The family lives in the West Chicago neighborhood of Lawndale, but the woman says the treatment they’ve received makes it difficult to stay. "I can't stay here … I have other kids, too. I let them walk to school and now I have to take them." she said.

    Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the attack involved five or six men or boys, and that no arrests have been made or suspects named, though the department is "making good progress identifying persons of interest." 

    Police are also investigating the mother’s harassment claims and Guglielmi said the girl knew at least one of her attackers. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has reached out to the family to make sure they’re safe following the threats.

    The mother showed Johnson screenshots from the livestream while filing a missing person’s report at the police department Monday afternoon. Her daughter had gone missing the day before.

    Johnson directed his detectives to get Facebook to take the video down and begin investigating immediately.

    Local activist Andrew Holmes said he was contacted by a friend of the girl’s mother, who asked him to help find the video and share it with law enforcement. 

    He said, "You could see where she was fearful…. You could see the look of fear and where she is resisting, pushing back … It looked like… she was in total shock."

    "Other individuals were there standing around and talking and someone says, 'Cut the lights off,'" Holmes said, noting that the video shows the girl trying to get away as she was being pulled to a bed.

    The mother said, "She went to the hospital, but she was so scared she didn't want anybody to touch her," saying that her daughter was still very afraid even after police found her.

    Facebook has not commented on the incident but spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the "responsibility to keep people safe on Facebook," is something the company takes very seriously.

    Several other violent and sexual attacks have been broadcast over the social network recently, such as the kidnapping and beating of an autistic man in Chicago and the gang-rape of a woman in Sweden. In January, a 12-year-old girl livestreamed her suicide on Facebook as well. 


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    gang rape, Sexual Asssault, Livestream, Facebook post, Facebook, Chicago, United States
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