Seven Willard Middle School boys, ranging in age from 11 to 14, were arrested Wednesday in connection with a five-hour kidnapping and rape of a 12-year-old girl that took place on Monday, according to Lt. Russell Lopes of the Berkeley Police Department.
“The alleged crime appears to have been totally spontaneous and to have taken place at about 11 different locations between the hours of 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.,” Lopes said.
According to police, the girl, who has a learning disability, knew all of her alleged attackers and was led to various locations, held there against her will and sexually abused.
“Some of the boys, she knew very well. She knew their last names and where they lived. Others, she just knew by their first name. All of them are students at Willard.” Lopes said.
All seven boys were arrested booked and released to their parents. The case is being turned over to the District Attorney’s Office where it will be determined what charges will be filed.
The suspects face charges ranging from kidnapping, rape, oral copulation, false imprisonment to felony assault.
Police are still searching for two other boys who may have been involved in the crime. According to Lopes the crime went unreported for two days. The reason for the delay has not been determined.
Karen Sarlo, a spokesperson for the Berkeley Unified School District, said that the seven boys have been suspended from school and may face expulsion.
“The district is conducting its own investigation to determine the severity of the crime and the proper discipline,” she said.