Liberian teen charged as adult pleads not guilty in 8-year-old’s rape in Phoenix

Liberian boy pleads not guilty in child rape case

PHOENIX —A Liberian teenager charged as an adult in the gang rape of an 8-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty in a Phoenix courtroom.

The 14-year-old appeared by video for Monday’s hearing wearing a jail uniform. An interpreter translated the proceedings for him.

Commissioner Brian Rees set an initial pretrial conference for Sept. 21.

Phoenix police say the teen and three other boys ages 10 to 13 lured the girl to an empty storage shed July 16 with the promise of chewing gum, then restrained and raped her.

The 14-year-old is charged with one count each of kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted sexual conduct with a minor, and five counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

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