In July, four boys were charged with assaulting girl; parents said they blamed daughter
(CNN) — The parents of an 8-year-old Liberian girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by four boys in July were arrested Friday on child abuse charges, according to Arizona police.
The father, 59, and mother, 47, were arrested Friday in Phoenix on seven counts of child abuse, said police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill. Police were waiting for them at their home after the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office issued the warrants.
The names of the parents have been withheld by CNN to avoid identifying the daughter, who is an alleged rape victim.
The child abuse investigation was based on documented incidents from the Phoenix Police Department and numerous referrals to Arizona Child Protective Services dating to 2005.
Police said the parents, refugees from the West African nation, used sticks, wires and their fists to hit their young daughter.
Witnesses told CNN affiliate KTVK that the parents left their daughter wandering their apartment complex alone at night, begging for food.
Details of the girl’s assault last summer shocked the nation. She was allegedly lured to a storage shed, pinned down and gang-raped by four boys, none of them older than 14.
The parents said they felt they had been shamed by their child and blamed her for being victimized. As a result, the girl was taken from her home and placed in state custody.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said at the time that the parents’ reaction was wrong and that they needed counseling.