Girl in Ramapo rape case texted in fear, friend testifies
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The 14-year-old girl in the Ramapo rape case hid under her parents' bed dashing off text messages to her best friend that spoke of fear her attackers were closing in, court testimony revealed Wednesday.
"OMG, they are here," the girl wrote, using the popular texting acronym for "Oh my God." "I'm scared they're looking for me."
The 15-year-old friend told Rockland County Family Court Judge Sherri Eisenpress that she immediately typed back: "You have to put your guard up to try to fight them together."
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"I can't they're too strong," the 14-year-old replied.
Rockland County prosecutors contend that moments later, four Chestnut Ridge Middle School boys barged into the bedroom of a home in Ramapo, discovered the 14-year-old, pulled her from under the bed and forced her into a bathroom, where they repeatedly raped her.
The four boys -- three 13-year-olds and a 12-year-old -- now stand accused of breaking into the girls' Ramapo home several times during the course of three days in June and repeatedly attacking the 14-year-old and her 13-year-old sister, who said they fought their attackers. A third sister, 11, was in the house but she was not assaulted, officials said.
The 15-year-old high school classmate was one of two friends called to the witness stand Wednesday to back up prosecutors' claims that the girls were unwilling victims of an attack and not -- as defense attorneys have suggested -- consenting partners in underage sex play.
"I basically was getting raped the whole time," the 14-year-old wrote in a text sent on the first day of the attacks. "I got raped by four of them."
"WTH, didn't you stop them," her friend replied using the abbreviation for "What the hell?"
The following day, the 15-year-old testified, she watched through a Skype video feed from inside her friend's bedroom as the boys broke in and dragged the 13-year-old sister out of the room.
"When the door was opened it was the four boys," the friend testified. She said she heard the oldest sister "saying something like 'get out, get out'."
Attorney Daniel Bertolino, who represents one of the 13-year-old defendants, wondered why the high school friend didn't call police, if she believed there had been an assault.
"I actually wanted her to tell her parents instead of them hearing it from someone else," the girl testified.
Another classmate testified Wednesday that the 14-year-old showed up at school on June 14, the day after the last attack, and appeared shaken.
The second classmate said that when she asked for details the 14-year-old revealed what had happened. The second classmate said she encouraged the 14-year-old to tell her parents.
"She told me it escalated from being bothered to being attacked," the classmate testified. "She was kind of scared. I told her that I would tell her mom, that I would go talk to her and tell her what happened. If she wasn't going to say it that day, I would tell her myself."
Later that day, the girl and her sister told their parents what had happened, prosecutors said.
Their parents called police, leading to the boys' arrests on June 16. If convicted of rape, they could be locked up until their 18th birthdays.
The trial began on Aug. 15, and prosecutors still have several more witnesses to call, including a psychiatrist who is expected to testify about why the girls did not alert their parents or police immediately after the attacks.