AUSTIN, Texas -- Police say a 13-year-old girl was raped twice within two weeks.
The first case happened last June when a group of men assaulted the girl. The latest case is not related to that, but it happened just 13 days later. This time, one man is under arrest and it took DNA to catch him.
Police say last July, the girl ran away from her group home, The Settlement Home, for the second time. She went to the Lamar Transit Center near North Lamar Boulevard and Highway 183. That's where she met two men and rode a bus with them to a party. She said she doesn't remember what happened after that, but she woke up in someone's front yard and found her way to a business, where she called 911. A sexual assault exam recovered DNA and pointed to David Anthony Maynez nearly nine months later.
Police say the victim ran away from her group home to "have fun with her friends."
"The victim had been at a party where she met some strangers, used drugs and alcohol and...upon coming to her senses, called 911 to be picked up and was not really sure what happened to her," said APD Detective Brent Kelly.
But the story doesn't end there. Kelly said she's the same girl gang-raped by eight men when she ran away the first time. The Settlement Home for Children is not a lockdown facility.
"If someone wants to leave or get out the window, unfortunately, that's something that could happen," he said.
In that case, the girl got into a car with three men, who took her to an apartment complex at Rundberg Lane and Northgate. That's where she says a group of men raped her, cheering and filming the assault with cell phones.
In the second case, police said a DNA hit pointed to Maynez, a convicted offender. He was already in jail on unrelated charges. Those results from the APD Forensics lab didn't come in until nine months after the assault.
"They're so backlogged and understaffed and overworked with the number of cases that continually come in," Kelly said.
He said on a case like this, the waiting game is frustrating for everyone.
"Especially as an investigator, when you want instant results and wish you could find things immediately, and so in this case it's just the way it is, and we're at the mercy of the availability of the lab," he said.
Settlement Home for Children is a residential treatment center in North Austin. It helps girls ages 7 to 18 who have been been abused and neglected.
The Department of Family and Protective Services investigated the Settlement Home after the first case and found several problems, including leaving this girl unattended. That's when she and another girl ran away. She is no longer at Settlement Home, but is still in foster care.
The Settlement Home has not yet returned KVUE's request for comment.