Another Sexual Assault Story–an 11 Year Old Girl in Milwaukee

I found this story from the AP. It is notable because both the age of the victim and the number of perpetrators.

It began with a crush, police said, and turned into one of the most shocking crimes in Milwaukee’s long, violent summer: an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by as many as 20 boys while a 16-year-old girl she was romantically interested in watched and coached her.

There were also a couple other details that lead me to think about how this story will be portrayed and how the media coverage will be structured. First, the involvement of the 16 year old girl in the attack has drawn attention probably because of her gender and her gender identity. My impression is that the 16 year old is transgender or possibly gender queer in some other sort of way. I base that on this quote:

The 11-year-old girl told police she was interested in the teenage girl, who looked and dressed like a boy, authorities said in court records. She and two friends went to the teen’s house, where the child performed oral sex on three teenage boys, the court records said.

Second the involvement of the 40 year old uncle in all of this is disturbing, and adds even more sensation to the story. It’s also interesting that the article frames this event as part of an escalating number of violent gang assaults. I don’t want to argue much either way about what direction the story will end up taking, but this one should be a good story to follow to see what happens and how the media coverage is framed.

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28 Responses to Another Sexual Assault Story–an 11 Year Old Girl in Milwaukee

  1. 1
    Q Grrl says:

    Dressing and acting like a boy does not = transgender FWIW. Could just have been your garden variety baby butch. Which would explain why she had the younger girl perform sexually for boys (internalized homophobia).

  2. 2
    shannon says:

    My uninformed opinion is that I thought both of the girls were gay. That’s just my impression.

  3. 3
    Rachel S. says:

    You know it is really hard to tell exactly what is going on from the story. I tried to put the caveat in there about being “gender queer” as a sort of broad description because the story is being constructed in an ambiguous way.

    I am also convinced that the victim and perpetrators are African Americans, based on the pictures of the neighbors/neighborhood, but again, it is hard to tell. I thought it was interesting that AP put a picture of a white kid with the video on the story, but every single person they talked to on the street was black.

    But this is definitely a story to watch because there is just seems to be something missing from the story.

  4. 4
    piny says:

    Dressing and acting like a boy does not = transgender FWIW. Could just have been your garden variety baby butch. Which would explain why she had the younger girl perform sexually for boys (internalized homophobia).

    This is true: we don’t really know anything about what’s going on, and the press won’t necessarily ameliorate that.

  5. 5
    Laylalola says:

    I just want to chime in on the 16 year old girl and actually the shock of reading, Rachel, that your first impression was she might be transgender or gender queer — that just jumped out as playing into stereotypes of the severely demented/perverted/violent/murderous gay or lesbian. When I read the news article I thought nothing of the 16-year-old except that she might be a tomboy and that the *victim* might be lesbian — but then she’s 11 years old and it’s hard to tell what she means when she tells police she was “interested” in the 16-year-old; at that age girls can have crush-like obsessions with their friends and especially with older girls they think are cool *who actually acknowledge their existence and maybe bring them into their fold.* Oh who knows. But I could see how a 16-year-old tomboy today — what do today’s tomboys look like, do they wear hip-hop boywear probably? — might well be of great “interest” and supercool to an 11-year-old girl. The article reads like she was trying to be like this girl and that she wanted the girl to coach her sexually, and this girl apparently did; all of it to me suggests heterosexuality but who knows. Definitely the uncle part is super creepy (not that the whole thing isn’t already) and I don’t understand why police haven’t already charged him when he’s admitted he had sexual relations with the 11-year-old.

  6. 6
    Rachel S. says:

    It’s interesting because my initial impression was that the 11 year old had a crush on the 16 year old, who she thought was a boy. But the more I read it the more unclear it becomes. I think it is pretty clear that the 16 year old was gender bending to some degree, but it is not clear what her gender identity is.

    Anyways, there are several missing pieces of information in this story, and I can’t quite figure out how the 16 year old girl is tied to the 11 year old.

  7. 7
    Chris S says:

    I hope that its portrayal in the media reinforces the need for education about sexual responsibility, and increases our vigilance of the sexual conduct of minors. Every one of those children knew what they were doing was wrong, but the instinct for sex in teenagers is extremely strong, and teenagers of otherwise good character can find themselves acting on those instincts with very little encouragement. If the same circumstances as those in this story were to occur again (a curious child, a case of hero worship, gang mentality, limited parental oversight) the same outcome would almost undoubtedly occur again. It likely already occurs with greater frequency than we’re aware of, unreported.

    I don’t think we need to concern ourselves with anyone’s gender identity. There is no clear evidence of homosexuality, and if any of the were, it does not appear to be relevant to the case, at least I don’t consider it either an excuse or a cause.

  8. 8
    AradhanaDevindra says:

    Besides the actual events that took place, the way this piece was written is also very disturbing.

    The fact that TWENTY grown men and boys raped this young girl is underwhelming to the writer of the article compared to the CONSTANT implication of the 16 yr old GIRL. The constant attention to the ‘fact’ that this 16 yr old girl coached the 11 yr old girl to perform sex acts is the focal point of the story, thus allowing the scape-goating of the FACT that these two sick MEN (Chaney and Gurley) agreed to intercourse with an 11 yr old whether or not the 16 yr old ‘coached’ her becomes irrelevant, yet the idiot who wrote it can’t get away from it…

    If this Gurley person is an uncle to the 16yr old, it could very well be that she may have been ‘coached’ herself. Many times victims of childhood sexual molestations will act as recruiters for their adult molestors themselves…

    This is a speculation, but it would not surprise me once this was further examined without automatically gender-blaming.

    Fucking media dum-dums.

  9. 9
    Rachel S. says:

    AradhanaDevindra said, “The constant attention to the ‘fact’ that this 16 yr old girl coached the 11 yr old girl to perform sex acts is the focal point of the story..”

    Yes, your on point with that. I also wondered to myself about the uncle’s role in all of this.

  10. 10
    Connie says:

    New info in the Milwaukee Journal–the 11 yo was assaulted 5 years ago by a boy who was living with her and her father. The father took the boy’s side! Surprisingly, relations have not been good between him and the girl since then, and she’s been living with her grandmother. Also, the girl is HIV positive due to being infected at birth by her mom, now dead. Sad, sad stuff all around.

  11. 11
    kactus says:

    This happened up the street from me–just a couple of blocks from my daughter’s school bus stop, in fact.

  12. 12
    shannon says:

    I wonder how your community is reacting to this really bad situation.

  13. 13
    kactus says:

    I wonder how your community is reacting to this really bad situation.

    With a lot of sadness. Just sadness. This has been a pretty horrible summer in Milwaukee–lots of shooting, a 13-year-old girl shot on her porch just last week, random murders and beatings and violence.

    I don’t know how a community recovers from this. I have some ideas of the causes, but they’re only minor parts of it and I can’t see the whole picture–maybe nobody can.

    The sad part, to me, besides the violence, is the excuse it gives some people to reinforce their racism. The city is so divided among racial lines, and so segregated.

  14. 14
    Penumbra in California says:

    If this Gurley person is an uncle to the 16yr old, it could very well be that she may have been ‘coached’ herself. Many times victims of childhood sexual molestations will act as recruiters for their adult molestors themselves…

    I am right along with you. I think the 16 yr old might have been coached and/or molested by the Uncle perhaps. And also soo distrubing is to hear this 11 yr old has been assaulted before….

    New info in the Milwaukee Journal–the 11 yo was assaulted 5 years ago by a boy who was living with her and her father. The father took the boy’s side! Surprisingly, relations have not been good between him and the girl since then, and she’s been living with her grandmother. Also, the girl is HIV positive due to being infected at birth by her mom, now dead. Sad, sad stuff all around.…

    I was sure the 11 yr old had something in her background to have occured that made this recent incident somewhat of a reoccurance of the past. Truly a sad case. And where is the educating of an HIV patient if she has had this since birth? Even an 11 yr old could understand if someone said you are not to have unprotected contact and this was explained.

    It’s astonishing and disturbing to say the least.

  15. 15
    Shay Brownmiller says:

    Okay after me reading all of these replies above yes they are right in most cases. But the thing is not that the girl was gay/lesbian or she liked the girl in some way. The thing is that this 11 year old girl had sexual intercoaurse with these males. Especially the 40 year old.He needs to be sentenced to life in prision. He was the adult there if nobody else was. He knew what was right and wrong. He should have called the police and left it at that but instead he joined in on it. Now it has been said that the girl was sexualy assaulted five years ago. So did anyone ever try to get her help? Probably not.It’s just a sad day in the community. All these females out here giving it up for free and they choose a little girl. Something was wrong with them too. Not to mention that they have the possibility of having HIV because the little girl was diagnosed with it when she was born. This should be a cry out for help to our community if everything else hasn’t been. Someone needs to step up and do something to help!

  16. 16
    TJ says:

    This is a truly sad case. I think with parental controls in the right place children make their own way. It is quite disturbing that no one reached out to help this little girl. Did she report this crime? It seems to me all of this is trying to be pushed off onto the 16 year old girl. I really believe each person involved should be prosecuted. If the girl had unprotected sex with these men, maybe it was revengeful because of the earlier molestation. I truly feel bad for children who get involved in the wrong situations. This girl will never be able to lead a normal life in that area because she will always be ridiculed. Sad very sad;

  17. 17
    Erika says:

    From my perspective, I believe that the 11 year old was lured by a young woman which she thought to be a boy and then raped while at the home.

    One of the quotes I read from the story said, “she then picked which boys she wanted to perform oral sex on” which I believe to be a quote from one of the perpetrators. Thus it isn’t valid to print as a valid statement since it came from those criminally involved in the crime being that they are biased and would make a statement to save their butts.

    I question why the newspapers chose to portray the young girl in that manner and frame the quote as if it was true instead of it just being hearsay.

    P.S. Today, even being a 21-year-old female, I can’t tell the difference between these “butch” lesbian females so how do we expect an 11-year-old girl too? Furthermore, being that the 16-year-old lured the young girl to the home diminishes her credibility/character in every way. If she instructed the young girl to perform sexual acts on men then she probably lied and told the young girl that she was a male.

  18. 18
    kactus says:

    Erika, I have to respectfully disagree with you. It is not beyond comprehension that the young girl knew the 16 y/o was a girl–I’m a 46 year old woman, and trust me, I can usually spot a butch lesbian a mile away, unless she is really consciously trying to pass. Girls as young as 11 (and younger) have been known to have crushes on other girls, so the idea that the 16 year old lied about her gender doesn’t really hold water. Not saying it didn’t happen, just saying that it’s not a “probably.”

    What we have, instead, is another person who was supposed to be this little girl’s friend betraying her and setting her up to be raped. I agree with Shay that the 16 year old girl is not the biggest part of the story (it’s jsut the sensational part)–what gets missed is that 20 men and one young woman raped an 11 year old child. A child! Only a year older than my own daughter–and then one of the men tried to say that she “looked 19,” as if that made the gang-rape any less awful.

  19. 19
    Kat says:

    Since when does ANY 11-year-old look 19?! As if. Ugh.

  20. 20
    shannon says:

    A random ancedote: when I was 12, girls were where it was at sexually. I totally had crushes on other girls. So I can see why an 11 year old may have had a crush on a ‘cool’ older girl. Looked 19 my ass. Even if an 11 year old develops early, you can totally tell she’s not 19. If you don’t know, ask for fuck’s sake. Stupid omg, she was totally grown at 11 excuses burn my buscuits.

  21. 21
    Kathleen says:

    Just following this day by day. A lot of conflicting statements. The fact of the matter is we don’t know what the heck happened. Where there threats of bodily harm or restraint? Where drugs and alcohol involved? We can assume this is a culture of povery issue however in my experience this happens all to frequently at every economic level. Last year it was at a MA prep school with the 14 or 15 year old girl in the boys locker-room. This happens when we have a vulnerable person – psychologically, emotional, physical, or impaired person by drugs or alcohol. Every woman in my family shares the same middle name. My grandmother had a girlfriend who joined the military during WWII and what I ascertain she was taken advantage of. My father (we have poor boundaries) told me how he picked a minor up at a liquor store during the Veitnam era and took her back to the barracks were “We all had her” (we means the entire platoon). I was in the military. I remember sitting at night with drunk girls trying to console them after the fucked 10 or 20 guys. I was set-up as a teenager by my bestfriend. I showed up at a party when I was 13 to find I was the entertainment. Thank God, I was not intoxicated as I punched a guy in the face and jumped a fence and ran like hell. My best friend was held down in the wooods when she was 10 and raped by a group of teenage boys – she never said a word to anyone she blamed herself for stopping to smoke a joint with them.

    This is happenning every day. These people were just too ignorant and got caught. They have nothing to lose as they have nothing.

    They hold gay, lesbian, transgender crap mentioned earlier is probably by upper-middle class white women. The only thing the feminist movemment has done for women is to give society great liberties to sexualize and degrade women
    just look jat what our kids (I’m in my 40s) are reading. When my 13 year-old neice is more interested in “hook-ups” and “20 naughty tricks to turn him on” all I can think of is “we’ve come along way baby”.

    Plus 11 is a squishy place sexual. It’s in between. We have levels of cognitive development that we have to consider. My 19 year-old is still having issues correlating his actions to outcomes. I am a 100% sure this kid was not being vindictive and trying to give people HIV. The latest article I read says that she claims “two people held her legs”.

    The 16 year old girl being mentioned is an important character. She is sociopath and has probably been frequently sexual abused by the males in her home. Probably not transgender more like trying not to attract attention.
    What the hell can we do? Be outraged! Be present for children. Teach sexual mores. I have taught my boys that love and consideration are important and make relationships more fulfilling. They have each had only one girlfriend and been over 18 before they have experimented sexually. (PS I am not a radical right wing Christian)

    Unfortunately, these kids (coming from later articles) all come from extreme dysfunction. HIV or Crack moms etc.
    What else can we do? Pray or send positive thoughts of wellness to these young people. We can also volunteer and make donations in our communities. Last but not least – vote out our inept or corrupt legislatures.

  22. 22
    jenni says:

    to the comment as to when does any 11 year old look 19, i know a girl who is 12 or 13 and could easily pass for 16-18 years old she is well developed and wears her hair and make up like older girls do.

  23. 23
    jenni says:

    in my opinoin it should not matter whether either girl was gay or not that is no excuse for 20 guys to do something like that to anyone, and yes young kids are esily influenced because they want to be “cool” like the older kids but that is no excuse for 20 guys to do that to any girl or woman.

  24. 24
    lyssa says:

    As a Total Expert on these matters (I have the back of a cereal box to prove it), I think I can answer whether or not she is genderqueer, etc.

    She was brutally raped. And further vitimized in the media. The rest does her little good, unless you are making her complicit.

    And then you are doing her further harm.

  25. 25
    Sharon T. says:

    Don’t know what has happened to Milwaukee. It used to be a great place to raise a family. Lack of jobs, racism, segregation. We still have churches on every corner, but somehow they are not reaching the young people. Sometimes when I hear stories like this one, I ask myself where is the church. Why don’t we ever hear what the Preacher Man in this community has to say. Somehow, you’ll hear just about every opinion but his.

    Is it possible that we as a people can get back to living with strong moral values as we did years ago? Each time an out rage like this occurs, our leaders come to the talk shows and they’ll say, “we need to do this or that!” Then, slowly their voices fade into the wind until it happens again.

    May God have Mercy on that evelven year old child. What are the thoughts of all those males who abused her? If they have an ounce of conscience left, I’m sure they must feel guilt as well as afraid that now this aids virus could be lurking within their lions.

    There are also many pedafiles living amongst us. When you look up their profiles, they mostly indicate that he has violated a young child….

    O My people, we’ve got to turn around and get back to the basic rules and regulations which are found in the Word of the Almighty God. He said, if My people would pray and seek me, then will I hear from Heaven and heal thy land.

  26. 26
    frogger says:

    I was wondering where the parents were for the 11 year old were and why they would let her hang out with a 16 year old (unless she was being watched while the parents were out). And wondering why parents did not have more involved in the kids life. I have kids and i like to know whom they hang out with and their parents (if possable).
    i do realize that you cannot follow your children as they get older 24/7 because they need their space and to be trusted. but i believe you need to teach them to trust their gut instints and to stand up for what they believe in (even if it not what the rest of the group believes in) .
    some how the idea of someones 40year old uncle should had enough “common sense” to have stopped this act on an 11 year old . what ever happend to being a responsible person and or parent and instilling the right from wrong sense of justice in our kids????

  27. 27
    Linda says:

    Further to your original theory that the 16 y.o. might be transgender. It is highly unlikely that a 16 y.o. would have had a sex change operation. Dressing boy-ishly might just be a subconcious way to escape the sexual attentions of her unsavoury male relatives.

  28. 28
    Linda says:

    Oops…soon as I wrote that I realized I was thinking transsexual rather than transgender. The rest still applies!