Any sexual assault is horrific, but an assault that's shared on social media takes a brutal act to another level entirely. The teens accused of beating and raping a minor in Massachusetts posted a video of the assault to Snapchat, a disgusting act clearly meant to further degrade the victim.
A friend of the victim received the video via the popular app and notified police, who were able to locate the victim in the woods near a school. She was found naked and unconscious, with bruises on her throat and breasts and scratches on her entire body. Her toes were broken, suggesting a struggle. "She had fingerprints, at least two hands held down by her throat," says the mother, who spoke to WHDH7 in New England.
According to the girl's mother, hospital staff reported that the victim had been heavily drugged. The mom, who wishes to remain anonymous, says her daughter was barely breathing when she was found.
Police are investigating the assault. Two teens, a 17-year-old boy and 18-year-old girl, have been arrested. A third suspect, 19-year-old Rashad Deihim, has eluded police. "It's a nightmare," says the victim's mom, who doesn't feel safe with the suspect still at large. She wants justice for her daughter, and hopes the teens will be charged with attempted murder for what they did.
Cases like this shouldn't be swept under the rug. While the victim and her family deserve as much privacy as they wish for, we can't ignore this kind of behavior from teens. It's crucial to talk about it, to acknowledge the heinous act — and to praise the teen who had the presence of mind to go to the police. Had the authorities not been notified, the victim may have died from her injuries and the drug in her system. Sharing something horrible from social media isn't "tattling" or betraying friends, it's a potentially life-saving and brave act that teens should always feel safe doing.
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