Two teen girls were arrested and charged with assaulting a 16-year-old autistic boy. The Maryland girls are accused of emotionally, physically, and sexually abusing the boy on numerous occasions. Authorities confirmed the accusations as the incidents were recorded on the girls’ cell phones.
The victim is listed as a 16-year-old boy, who is diagnosed with autism. Lauren A. Bush, age 17, and her unnamed 15-year-old friend reportedly took advantage of the boy’s diminished mental capacity.
Authorities were alerted to the situation when one of the suspects’ mother found the evidence on her daughter’s cell phone. The mother presented the information to the Chopticon High School resource officer, who initiated the investigation.
When questioned, the girls admitted that they assaulted the boy on “multiple occasions.” St. Mary County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the abuse was “some of the worst he has ever seen.”
As reported by CNN, the teen girls recorded the autistic boy as he performed numerous dangerous and humiliating acts. The girls often used a knife to threaten the boy, as he resisted their demands.
Sheriff Cameron said the autistic boy was “forced to masturbate and then copulate with a family pet” on at least one occasion. They also held a knife to his throat, kicked him in the groin, and forced him to walk across a partially frozen pond. Although he fell through the ice several times, they forced him to get out and continue walking.
The incidents reportedly took place between December 2013 and March 2014. A majority of the incidents were recorded and stored on the teen girls’ cell phones. Cameron said the boy was injured more than once. However, the extent of his injuries are unknown.
New York Daily News reports that both girls were arrested and charged with assault, child pornography, and false imprisonment. As the investigation continues, additional charges are possible.
Bush was charged as an adult. Following her arrest, she posted bond and was released pending trial. Her accomplice was charged as a juvenile and is currently being held in a local juvenile detention facility.
Sheriff Cameron said he and the community are stunned:
“I’m hoping our investigation will get some answers. It’s hard to fathom… This is heinous and shocking. Why would someone show such hatred and evil to a person? We’re a close knit community and everyone is shocked here… Like everyone else in town I’m hoping to know the rest of the story.”
The teen girls have not explained what motivated them to abuse the autistic boy or record the incidents.
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