Mom of 11-year-old gang-rape victim looks forward to suspects’ trials

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Len Cannon / KHOU 11 News

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 1:17 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 17 at 10:31 AM

HOUSTON – The mother of an 11-year-old gang-rape victim says she’s looking forward to the suspects' trials and regaining custody of her daughter.       

Prosecutors said the attacks happened on four separate occasions over a three-month period last year in Cleveland. Police said 14 men and six boys gang-raped the girl.

“My thoughts are they did it, it’s good whatever they get, I’m OK with it because I don’t care how old you are, you shouldn’t lay a hand on anyone,” Maria said.  

Three of the accused juveniles have now pleaded guilty to sexual assault. Seventeen other suspects are still due in court. But Maria isn’t exactly joyful.

“I’m not going to say I was happy, but it’s just the thought that, with all that’s gone on, I still don’t have my daughter back,” she said.

After the charges came to light, Child Protective Services took Maria’s daughter and placed her with a foster family. Maria admitted her daughter was rebellious, and often would sneak out of the house. CPS said Maria needs better parenting skills.

Now she is looking forward to the possible trials for the men accused of assaulting her daughter.

“I want to see the people’s face, how they look, see if they have any remorse for what they did,” Maria said. “It’s my baby girl.”

Now her baby girl is now almost 13, on the honor roll, and hoping to one day come home.

“She told me the other day, ‘When I come back home, I am going to behave and be a good girl, and we are going to be a good family, a happy family,’” Maria said.

Maria and her three other children have supervised visits with the victim twice a week for two hours. She said they usually get together at a restaurant.

Maria said CPS told her she may get her daughter back sometime after the trials.

But that could be months, or possibly years, from now.

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