By Adam Shrier: Three men accused of the disturbing rape of a 9-year-old girl in Utah will stand trial, according to court records.
Larson RonDeau, 36, Jerry Flatlip, 29, and Randall Flatlip, 26, were each charged with one count of first-degree felony rape of a child and first-degree felony sodomy upon a child for an alleged gang rape that occurred on March 27.
Prosecutors asked that the charges against a fourth suspect, Josiah RonDeau, 20, be dismissed. The victim’s mother, a key witness against Josiah RonDeau, cannot be found, barring his case from going forward, prosecutors said.
At Thursday’s hearing, Judge Edwin Peterson heard testimony from several witnesses, including the 9-year-old victim, whose interview with authorities was played in court.
They took me to the back and all four of them did that to me,” the girl says in her videotaped testimony. “They said if I tell anybody, they were going to kill me.”
In her interview, the victim, who was not present in the courtroom, detailed the alleged sexual assault, saying that the accused rapists held down her arms and legs and each raped her, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
A Utah Sheriff’s Office detective confirmed that the victim was able to identify all three of her alleged assailants from a photo lineup.
After hearing the evidence, Peterson ruled that there was probable cause for the three defendants to stand trial.
Charging documents detailed the monstrous alleged rape.
The victim’s mother told police that she had taken her daughter to the home of a friend she met in jail for the Easter weekend.
The four men accused of rape were also spending the weekend at the house, she said.The alleged rape occurred when the victim’s mother left her daughter asleep on a couch and went into the garage to smoke meth, authorities said.
The mother returned to find her daughter distraught and her clothing in disarray, according to the charges.
The victim, who is currently in the custody of the state, reported the assault to her mother two days later.
Defense attorneys challenged the victim’s testimony, honing in on statements in her interview that suggested her aunt was “in on it, too” and that her mother said “they set her up,” the Tribune reported.
Larson RonDeau and the Flatlips have pleaded not guilty to all charges.