South Floridians were shocked when five teens were accused of a sexual attack, captured on a cell phone, which sent a 16-year-old girl to the hospital. The victim suffered multiple injuries including broken bones in her face.
But in the police interrogation, tapes of which were obtained by NBC 6’s Willard Shepard, one of the females arrested for the crime says the victim started the trouble that night.
Erica Avery talked to detectives after waiving her right to remain silent and said that the victim was called to the home and then things went wrong.
Detective: Who called this girl? When you say somebody.
Avery: I think it was Dee that called her.
When the victim arrived, prosecutors say Avery and four others, Patricia Montes, Henry Dwight, Laniel N. Singleton, and Jayvon Woolfork, all charged in the attack, were already at the house. Detectives asked if sex was the motive behind inviting the victim over to the home.
Avery answered, “No, not really. I didn’t…maybe. It could have been that. It could have been that.”
Avery said the trouble started shortly after the victim returned to the home a second time.
Detective: “How was she starting problem; what did she do?”
Avery: “Like, she was talking a bunch of *expletive*. She was trying to fight Trisha for no reason. Everybody else was trying to hang out. Everybody was trying to chill.”
Detective: “But you guys called her there.”
Detective: “Why would she come there and start causing a problem?”
Avery: “That’s what I am saying. I have no idea. She kept acting foolish. Kept going crazy. Didn’t want to leave. ‘Oh, I want my shoes. I want my shoes.’ The girl came with sandals. She’s talking about her Jays (sneakers) and all this. I want this. I want that, and everybody was like; the guy of the house, I think it was Jay’s house; he was like ‘get out of my house! Get the hell out of my house! Get out of my house! She didn’t want to go.”
The victim, in testimony given last year, told a different story. She said she was prevented from leaving and forced to have sex.
“So I was like, ‘I’m not having sex with him. I just kept denying.’ When I went to the bathroom, I tried to run out the house. That’s when they all dragged me into the room,” the victim told police.
Cell phone video of the beating, which is in evidence, showed the victim outside the house being pushed, punched and kicked by the two girls involved. She is then dragged by her hair inside the home. Once inside, one of her alleged attackers stands guard at the door, refusing to let her escape.
According to authorities, Singleton videotaped the incident on his cell phone and held the victim down – a charge he denies.
Avery confirmed to police that she did see some injuries on the victim, “They were like in one of those rooms and me and Trisha were sitting on the couch laughing. And we were like, ‘Oh my God” and we were looking at her hands. Her hands were swollen.”
Still, Avery told detectives that the victim was on drugs and had a history of false charges concerning sex in the past.
“She said one time that he and Angie were together and she had sex with a guy and she tried to blackmail him and tell him to give her $1,000 or she was going to press charges for rape on her and her friend Angie,” Avery said. “This girl does this kind of stuff for fun and attention. This girl is really crazy. She has a *expletive* life. She has a *expletive* head.”
Avery told detectives more about what happened that night, but under Florida law, those statements are still confidential.
All five of the men and women accused in the attack have entered not guilty pleas. One has bonded out while the rest remain in jail. All are due back in court in the fall.