Crime
Crime

Gang Members Charged With Rape Of 13-Year-Old Girl

| by Alex Scarr

A Michigan girl has come forward claiming four gang members raped her and forcibly tattooed her with the gang's symbols when she was 13 years old.

Jacob Yrles, Anthony Bunn, Terry Taylor and Steven Erwin Washburn are facing 40 felony charges for the alleged rape and tattooing of the girl in 2014. A judge determined that the gang members -- ages 19, 18, 23 and 26, respectively -- will head to trial for multiple gang, sexual assault and gun charges, according to Michigan Live.

All four men face the possibility of life in prison if convicted.

The girl testified the attack happened in the summer of 2014 when she was accosted by the four men at a party in Flint. She said they asked her to join the gang. She initially rebuffed them but said she took a car ride with the four men later in the evening.

Once away from the party, the men allegedly dragged her to a garage where they took turns raping her.

"I did not say yes and I was too scared to say no," she said in court. "I got the feeling there was no saying 'no.'"

The next morning, the men then reportedly began the process of tattooing the Insane Spanish Cobras insignia on her hip and back. The judge overseeing the case called the forced tattoos "horrendous" and upheld the prosecutor's' suggested assault charges.

The defense questioned the girl about why she chose to remain in contact with the four men well after the attack, as well as asking why it took her more than two years to report the incident, according to WNEM. An attorney for one of the defendants said the victim had "serious credibility issues."

"I think it's called a trauma bond," she said, according to Michigan Live. "I didn't have people who would stand by my side at the time."

The alleged victim was a self-described loner who had run away from home. She also stated in court that it took her nearly a year to talk to anyone about the incident, including her sisters.

According to Chicago Gang History, the Insane Spanish Cobras began as a predominantly Puerto Rican gang in Chicago's westside neighborhoods. The gang was involved in several high-profile murder cases in the mid-1990s.

"It’s kind of hard to say ‘no’ to a gang after you’ve been cycled that way for a very long time, and most of our gangs back in the day really nurtured you," a former Insane Spanish Cobras member told Hour Detroit. He disassociated with the gang after a lengthy prison term and said he was "ashamed" of the commitment he had the given the gang.

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