Trenton, N.J. (AP) - The lawyer for one of five suspects accused of gang-raping a 7-year-old New Jersey girl who prosecutors say was sold for sex by her stepsister suggested Thursday in court that the child had been pressured to make up the story.
"She was not raped, was not gang-raped," Robin Lord, attorney for suspect Gregory Leary, said. "I'm 100 percent certain that the 7-year-old was not sexually assaulted. The allegations will not be substantiated by any forensic evidence."
Leary, accused of participating in the rape and endangering the welfare of a child, was ordered held on $500,000 bail. He is also accused of statutory rape; Trenton police say he also had sex with the girl's 15-year-old stepsister.
"My son didn't rape anyone," Leary's mother, Robin David, said outside the courthouse. "My son is a loving child and could never hurt anyone. I feel terrible about my child and anyone else's who is involved in this."
Police have said that the stepsister was paid for sex at a party in a vacant apartment, then gave the younger girl money and encouraged the men to let them touch her. Police say it then progressed to rape by as many as seven men and boys. The stepsister has also been arrested.
The child was treated at a hospital, and police say there is DNA evidence of the crime.
In all, five men and boys have been charged with raping the 7-year-old. Besides Leary, they are 19-year-old Timear Lewis and three boys ages 13, 14 and 17.
"These boys are victims of their own hormones," Lord said.
Police have said they expect additional arrests.
The attorney for one of five suspects accused of gang-raping a 7-year-old New Jersey girl says the child was not raped.