Facebook Live sex assault victim getting threats, mother says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Chicago police continue to work to try and identify the boys seen sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl on Facebook Live over the weekend, the girl's mother told the Associated Press that the family is getting online threats and her daughter refuses to go home.

Police meanwhile said they "have teams working around the clock and detectives are making good progress in the case." Police also said there is now a parallel investigation going on into the online threats being received by the family of the 15-year-old.

"I hope they get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This ain't (sic) the first time," Reginald King, victim's relative, said.

Stills from the video, which Facebook has taken down, identify a so-called "Beam Team" as the broadcasters. They are known to many in the neighborhood.

"Every time we mention this group, the 'Beam Team' every time we mention them you can see the fear overcome them. These are kids," King said.

"It's a group of kids walking around in a huge little pack and they act out, stand in front of your addresses. If you tell them to move they act like you're doing something wrong," Ray Johnson, Lawndale resident, said.

"These are little boys terrorizing a neighborhood. And for this to be allowed. This is not something that just happens," Nicole Williams, family friend, said.

Those close to the investigation said Facebook's facial recognition software helped police pinpoint the individuals in the video. The teen's mother said Wednesday her daughter was released from the hospital. The girl will speak with detectives and an assistant state's attorney and look at photos to help identify her attackers.

Alderman Michael Scott Jr. (24th Ward) said investigators believe the girl knew the offenders and that they are all minors.

Video of the gang rape was streamed on Facebook Live sometime between Sunday afternoon, when the teen went missing from her home in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood, and Monday morning, when her mother brought the video to the attention of Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson as he walked out of a police station.

Johnson immediately gathered a team of detectives. Officers in the 10th District located the girl Tuesday morning. They worked to track down her attackers Wednesday morning.

The teen's family members spoke out Tuesday about the crime.

"She was heinously raped, beaten and abused and assaulted on tape. On FB live. So regardless of what type of picture people want to paint of her - she was a chronic runaway or whatever - nobody deserves that. No human being deserves for that to happen to them," King said.
The teen had gone missing before, for about 4-5 days last year.

She is a high school student at Lane Tech College Prep. Students told ABC7 Eyewitness News Tuesday that they were shocked to hear about what happened.

The young girl's mother, who first spoke to ABC7 while her daughter was still missing, said in a text message:

"I'm not able to speak about the investigation. I want thank you for getting the word out about what happened to my daughter. Without your all help she would probably still be out there missing."

No one is in custody.

Investigators said any charges that may result from the case are going to talk longer than usual because there are minors involved.
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