Seven juveniles and an 18-year-old girl were arrested Friday for their alleged involvement in the sexual assault of another juvenile last week, authorities said.
The assault occurred March 15 at the Rutherford Tract, a wooded area off of Glade Drive in Lower Township. Authorities declined to release many details of the incident to protect the identity of the victim.
The incident apparently was not planned and was not part of any type of ritual, said Ken Super, chief of detectives for the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.
“It seemed like a random gathering,” he said. “It was a random group of teenagers and there (were) random acts of delinquency” that eventually led to the assault.
The juvenile was sexually assaulted and physically abused during the incident and was treated for injuries at Cape Regional Medical Center. The victim has since been released, said Super said.
Everyone involved is from the township, said Super, who described the Rutherford Tract a popular place for local youth to loiter.
Authorities said Brittany Hearon, 18, was charged Friday with endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy to commit endangering an injured victim. Seven juveniles also face charges ranging from aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, endangering an injured victim, conspiracy and consumption of alcohol. Three of the suspects were transported to the Juvenile Detention Center.
Super said some but not all of the suspects involved consumed alcohol. The case is still under investigation.
Contact Joel Landau:
Follow Joel Landau on Twitter @landaupressofac