Four men from Uintah County in Utah have been arrested on charges of allegedly raping a 9-year-old girl, authorities confirmed on Sunday.
According to The Deseret News, The Uintah County Sheriff’s Office have arrested the four men who are aged between 20 and 36. The four have been identified as Jerry Flatlip, Randall Flatlip, Larson RonDeau and Josiah RonDeau. The youngest among them is Larson RonDeau, who is just 20-years-old. Randall and Jerry Flatlip are 29 and 26-years-old respectively, while Josiah RonDeau is 36-years-old. They were arrested between March 29 and April 1, a statement issued by the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office revealed. The statement, which was also posted on the official Facebook page belonging to the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office read as follows.
“Four men are in custody and are being held in the Uintah County Jail following a reported rape of a child that occurred on March 27, 2016.”
It further describes the incident that led to their arrests.
“On March 29, 2016, Uintah County Sheriff Deputies took a report of the rape. It had been reported that a nine year old female had been raped by multiple men at a residence located in Uintah County on March 27 while the child’s mother was visiting friends. According to investigators, while the child was sleeping on the couch, the victim’s mother went into the garage of the home and was smoking methamphetamine. During that time, the child was taken into another room in the home where she was raped by the four men.”
The report also has a contradictory statement. While the report initially says that the mother of the 9-year-old girl “was visiting friends” while the girl was asleep on the couch, the second part says that the mother went into the garage of the same house and was smoking methamphetamine even when the four alleged rapists where in the same home. The men allegedly took the girl to a separate room in the same home where they raped her.
The Uintah County Sheriff’s office has not revealed the names of the victim or of her mother due to the nature of the crime. The four men are currently being held in the Uintah County Jail and have all been charged with first-degree felony rape of a child and first-degree sodomy.
People reacted strongly once the word of the alleged rape spread. While many wanted the men to be given the harshest punishments possible, several others questioned what the mother was doing while her daughter was raped by the four men. They also wanted charges to be filed against the mother for failing her duty as a mother.
Loretta A. Hewitt, a commenter on the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page urged everyone to fight for the young rape victim.
“Lets fight for this child, the community lets not allow her to be ashamed and put the shame were it belongs.”
She further added the following.
“The bad thing is, these men well probably walk free if they don’t have prior offenses with drugs robbery etc. Why can’t the courts realize that if they don’t have priors most likely they are concentrating solo on child sex abuse. How do we know these men may have sexually abused children in the past and may continue to do these crimes A slap on the wrist is not acceptable. Save our children!”
Meanwhile the Sheriff’s office also said that the 9-year-old victim is safe and that she is now in state custody.
There is no word if the mother of the 9-year-old rape victim would also be charged for neglecting her duties as a mother. As of this writing, it is also unclear if the four men have lawyers.
[Image Via Pixabay]