Community members in one Detroit neighborhood took matters into their own hands and beat an accused rapist of a 15-year-old girl with Down Syndrome after they say Detroit Police failed to respond.
Friday marks the 23rd day without an arrest after the 15-year-old victim said a man grabbed her while she was walking to work, took her to his apartment and raped her in early July.
The suspect lives in the same neighborhood as the victim. Members of the Hubbard Farms community say the man has mental health issues. They posted his face on flyers around the neighborhood to warn others.
Family friend of the victim, Megan Herres says the teen waited for seven hours at the hospital for Detroit Police to administer a rape kit. She reportedly waited five days before police interviewed her about the sexual assault and 21 days until Detroit Police sent the rape kit to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab.
“That’s just not acceptable,” said Herres. “DPD, we want to see an effort toward sexual assaults of minors,” she continued “It’s not good to live in a community where people don’t feel safe." Other community members were equally outraged at what they believed was a lack of response by Detroit Police and on Monday took matters into their own hands. The community beat the accused rapist with a baseball bat so badly he needed to go to the hospital.
Herres said vigilante justice is not the answer, but frustrations grew and boiled over. “There was a lot of community response in asking the police for their assistance in apprehending the perpetrator and it wasn’t happening in a timely manner,” said Herres.
When 7 Action News asked officials why the investigation was taking so long, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said they have asked Detroit Police for more evidence and are waiting to determine if charges will be brought.
Detroit Police say the prosecutor’s office is waiting on DNA. The MSP crime lab does have the rape kit and are expediting it. When we told Detroit Police we wanted a reason for the delay, a police spokesperson told 7 Action News, "We are looking into this."
The condition of the accused rapist is unknown at this time. Community members say his family checked him into a facility of some sort.
Herres the teen victim is doing the best she can and she has her family and an entire community rallying behind her.