The sexual assault of a five-year-old special needs girl has put a small Idaho town at the center of the debate over Obama’s move to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees.
At a hot-tempered public meeting on Monday, dozens of residents voiced their concerns after word had spread that young Syrian refugees had gang-raped a little girl at knifepoint, defiling her in unspeakable ways.
Some of what they had heard was true, some was not and still more remains unconfirmed speculation. But authorities believe something terrible occurred. Two young boys were arrested Friday and remain in custody.
“This is a serious crime and we are handling it the way we handle all such crimes,” said Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs. “We’re still in the fairly early stages of investigating this.”.
The day after the arrests, local residents formed the Facebook community “Justice for Our Children” in support of the young victim and her family that has more than 9,000 members. A petition was circulated, attracting more than 2,500 signatures in less than three days.
“Many people in this community are in awe, and outraged that no consequences are being served to these boys nor their parents for this vile incident,” reads the petition letter dated Jun 18. “We feel there is an incredible lack of justice being served. We are not targeting due to racism. We are targeting these individuals because of their horrific acts. No one should go without consequences for actions like these no matter the age or language barrier.”
Davis Odell, a community resident who has been in close contact with the victim’s family said the boys dragged the unnamed girl into a utility room in the Fawnbrook Apartments, a low-income, subsidized housing complex in Twin Falls, and assaulted her in an attack that ended when a neighbor happened upon the scene and called police.
Rumors had circulated online that the suspects were Syrian refugees, but Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury told reporters the suspects are actually Iraqi and Sudanese. There are currently no details as to how long they have been living in the United States.
“We’re worried that these are the kids who will be going to school with our kids,” said Odell. “We want to know what is happening.”
Ignoring the young victim, liberal refugee advocates say the case is just being used to drive anti-refugee sentiments.
“There have been periodic website postings about hundreds of Syrians coming to Idaho that have all proven to be false in the past, and this is probably just one of those attempts to try and stir up hatred and bigotry,” Jan Reeves, director of the Idaho Office for Refugees, told the Idaho Statesman.
Focused on the detail that the suspects are not Syrian, numerous left wing media outlets have announced this incident to be completely false, regardless the incident being so well documented, the arrests, and several statements by local officials.
“This is our home. I don’t care if these boys were from Syria, Pakistan, or Iraq. I don’t care. They have been forced on this community by Obama, and we are the ones paying the price.”
A fundraiser and “Walk of Support” is scheduled for this weekend in an effort to assist the family with relocation and legal costs.