Guilty verdict in Texas gang rape

Nov. 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

LIBERTY, Texas, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Jared Len Cruise has been found guilty of participating in the gang rape of an 11-year-old Cleveland, Texas, girl.

The verdict was offered Wednesday by a jury in Liberty County. Cruse faces a sentence of 25 to 99 years in prison, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Cruse, now 20, is the second of 20 defendants to be tried for allegedly sexually assaulting the girl over the course of four months in 2010. Eric McGowan was the first; he was judged guilty and received a 99-year sentence. Seven juveniles received probation and six adults each receive sentences of 15 years after pleading guilty in exchange for plea deals, the newspaper said.

In closing remarks defense attorney Steve Taylor pointed out testimony from the girl in which she answered "yes sir" to a question of whether she was a willing participant in the assaults.

"She told you she was a willing participant, but they [the prosecution] will tell you the law doesn't care," he said.

Prosecutors said the law provides no excuse for sex with children, and noted evidence in the trial included a videotape, made by the alleged participants, of a sexual assault.

"Look how proud he [Cruse] is on that video," said prosecutor Joe Warren in closing remarks, adding that rarely in his criminal trial work can he present an actual video of a crime being committed.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Russia investigates legality of 1991 recognition of Baltic independence
Islamic State re-captures part of key Kurdish-held border town in Syria
Demand for mobile phones in North Korea means two per household
China's Great Wall is quickly disappearing, report says
Volcanic eruption alerts authorities in Japan