Rape victim's mom: It has happened before

May 3, 2012 at 5:58 PM

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 3 (UPI) -- The videotaped gang rape of a mentally disabled South African teen was the girl's third sexual assault, her mother said.

The mother said police in Johannesburg did nothing after her daughter, now 17, was attacked in 2009 and 2010, CNN reported. She is now living in a safe house after allegedly being assaulted by four teenagers and four adults, three in their late teens and one 37.

The four juveniles were released on bail Thursday. But their attorney told CNN they will not be returning to their community because of fears for their safety.

A judge has ruled three of the four will be prosecuted as adults. The other is protected by a law that children under the age of 14 are not legally responsible.

Investigators suspect the 17-year-old was held as a sex slave after she vanished March 21. A videotape allegedly made by one of the suspects with a cellphone showed her begging to be left alone.

The video was posted on the Internet last month.

Advocates for women say rape has become increasingly prevalent in South Africa, with one sexual assault every 26 seconds. In the Johannesburg area, about 20 percent of reported rapes involve multiple attackers.

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