One of the teens charged in connection with a sexual and physical assault of a 14-year-old girl in Lower Township, Cape May County earlier this month tells NBC10 Jersey Shore Bureau reporter Ted Greenberg that she can prove her innocence with a text message she received from the victim.
The 16-year-old girl says she wrote a message to the victim that reads, "I didn't do anything to you! All i did was helped you out the woods and we couldn't get you so we got your mom."
The response from the victim reads, " I knooo now thank you I appreciate it a lot!"
Seven juveniles are facing charges for the attack that prosecutors say happened on March 15 in a wooded area off Glade Drive in Lower Township and involved underage drinking. The 16-year-old tells NBC10 that police charged her with physically attacking the victim and other offenses. She denies the allegations.
The accused teen's older sister, 18-year-old Brittney Hearon, was arraigned in a Lower Township courtroom this morning. She is only charged with endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy to commit endangering an injured victim, for allegedly leaving the victim unconscious and naked in the woods. She talked with NBC10's Greenberg, telling him the allegations are untrue.
Hearon says she went into the woods with her younger sister, two cousins and four friends and they saw another group of kids drinking and spotted the victim passed out on the ground.
“I found, stumbled across the girl that was naked on the ground, I helped the girl dress herself and tried to carry her out of the woods the best that I could. I couldn’t carry her so I left and went and got my aunt who called her mom and her mom handled it from there,” said Hearon.
The father of these two girls stands behind their story.
“I’m lost. There’s nothing they can show me that even makes me think that any of it is even possible,” said Charles Hearon.
Charges against the seven juveniles range from aggravated sexual assault, second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree endangering an injured victim, conspiracy and consumption of alcohol.
They will appear in family court next month.
Brittney Hearon's case will head to a grand jury.