NBC10 Philadelphia - Doug Shimell
A 12-year-old girl told police she was raped by four teenage boys at the Francis Myers Rec Center on the 5800 block of Chester Avenue. The girl says she was using the computer room when she was lured into the stairwell by the boys. NBC10's Doug Shimell spoke to upset parents.
Monday night, Police Philadelphia investigated a 12-year-old girl's claim that she was raped by four teenage boys inside a city recreation center.
The alleged incident happened inside a third-floor stairwell at the Francis Myers Rec Center on the 5800 block of Chester Avenue in the Kingsessing section Southwest Philly.
"At a camp, a rec center? That's not supposed to happen," said rec center parent Lisette Burgos.
Police were called to the scene around 8:30 p.m. after a volunteer saw a group of boys running from a stairwell and then found the teary-eyed victim in the third-floor stairwell. The girl says she was using the computer room when she was lured into the stairwell and raped by boys believed to be around 14 years old, police said.
Line dancing and basketball activities were being held at the busy rec center at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
Cops remained on the scene hours later as the alleged victim was interviewed by special victims police. A cop car was outside the center Tuesday morning.
Initially police told NBC10 that the girl didn't appear to have any physical injuries. But later Monday night the girl was taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to be examined and have a rape kit performed.
The girl's uncle told NBC10's Tim Furlong that she was at the hospital overnight but that she is expected to be OK.
Police remained on the scene throughout the night trying to sort out if a crime occurred. Investigators also took in two boys for questioning -- it was unclear if the boys were persons of interest or just witnesses to the alleged incident.
They were released from custody some point Tuesday morning.
No arrests as the investigation continued Tuesday.
The incident raised questions about security in city rec centers. City officials say they are in the process of installing security cameras but the question remains if there was enough supervision in the rec center at the time of the alleged attack -- officials say there were five to seven supervisors on site at the time..
"To say that if we had had 10 other people here it would’ve been prevented? I’m not going to say that, because I don’t know." Philadelphia Recreation Department Commissioner Susan Slawson said. "I believe that it was a crime of opportunity."
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