This is crazy:
A girl raped by three teenagers and a 22-year-old pleaded that she was only 14 years old during an attack her assailants recorded on a cell phone camera, prosecutors said during a bond hearing today for one of the suspects.
Vicente Hernandez, 22, of Cicero, was ordered held on $600,000 bail after being charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault. The three other suspects — Alex Picallo, 16, Majeed Khalifeh, 18, and Jonathan Leanos, 19, were charged Wednesday.
Police say Leanos met the girl on a MySpace page last summer, and they met several times before Leanos took her to his house on Saturday. When she refused to have sex, Leanos raped her, then took her along when he drove to pick up Khalifeh and Hernandez, police said. They returned to Leanos’ house, where they were met by Picallo, police said.
When Hernandez took the girl into a bedroom and locked the door, she told him she was only 14, prosecutors said. Hernandez assaulted her and broke her cell phone before leaving the room, prosecutors said in court.
Khalifeh and Picallo then went into the room and assaulted the girl while Hernandez and Leonas used their cell phones to record the attack, prosecutors said. Leanos then allegedly raped the girl again.
Hernandez’s lawyer portrayed his client as a hard-working family man working two jobs to support his girlfriend and two daughters. He is also the primary caregiver for his 85-year-old grandfather, said attorney Marco Raimondi. He requested that Hernandez be released on $50,000 bail, arguing his client posed no flight risk.
Raimondi said Hernandez has lived most of his life in the Chicago area, in addition to working full-time as a clerk at a law firm and full-time in an auto body shop.
Standing next to Hernandez, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, Raimondi acknowledged the seriousness of the charges but said, “My client obviously denies the charges.”
Raimondi said Hernandez has no serious criminal record and “will appear in court each and every time” if granted the requested bail.
But in the hearing in Bridgeview Branch Court today, Judge Colleen McSweeney Moore said that there is “another, more important factor: The defendant’s danger to the public.”
Aggravated sexual assault is a Class X felony with a mandatory sentencing range of six to 30 years.
Moore, in setting bail at $600,000, said Hernandez would have to serve his sentences consecutively if convicted of the two counts against him.
Relatives for the four suspects either could not be reached Thursday or declined to comment on the charges.
Neighbors of both Khalifeh and Picallo described them as good kids, though one man said Picallo began hanging out with a rougher group of friends after he began attending Morton West High School in Berwyn.
Neighbors of Leanos said there was frequent trouble around the home, a small brick bungalow.
“I wanted to walk over there so many times,” said David Capitano, 30, who lives a few houses down from Leanos. “They drove me crazy — in the summer, I have my bedroom window open, and I’d hear the noise and yelling. … I’m not shocked this happened.”
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