Teens Charged in Girl's Assault, Rape

Investigators have seized cellphones as part of the investigation

By Danielle Johnson and David Chang
|  Friday, Mar 29, 2013  |  Updated 12:44 PM EDT
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Teens Accused in Girl's Sex Assault

NBC10.com

Investigators say the victim was assaulted in this wooded are of North Cape May.

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Investigators are examining cellphones and social media postings in the investigation of the alleged sexual assault of a girl at a teen party in the woods in North Cape May.

Prosecutors say seven juveniles are being charged in connection with the sexual assault and physical abuse of the 14-year-old girl.

The attack happened on March 15, during a gathering in a wooded area off of Glade Drive, known as “Rutherford Tract” in Lower Township, according to the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.

One juvenile is charged with sexual assault. Charges against the others include aggravated assault, endangering and injured victim and alcohol consumption.

One adult, Brittany Hearon, 18, is charged with child endangerment.

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Hearon talked exclusively to NBC10 to deny any wrongdoing. She's accused of leaving the victim unconscious and naked in the woods.

"It's very hard," she said. "I'm terrified. I get sick to my stomach. They haven't gotten the true story."

Hearon says that she went into the woods that night along with her younger sister, two cousins and four friends. She says their group came upon another group of kids, who were drinking. One girl, she said, was passed out.

"I found a young girl naked, lying on the ground," she said. "I helped her get dressed and get back on her feet."

Hearon's 16-year-old sister says she has a text message from the victim that proves her innocence.

Prosecutor Robert Taylor says detectives seized cell phones from the teens for critical evidence that may detail the assault on the minor.

"Cell phones seem to be the type of things that juveniles and other people carry around with them and take pictures, some of which they shouldn't have taken," said Taylor.

Prosecutors say there could be additional charges in the case based on information they recovered from social media.

 


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