Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Snow 32° Snow

Eye On Boise

U.S. Attorney urges calm in Twin Falls case

Idaho U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson has issued a statement about the June 2 sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl involving three other children at a low-income apartment complex in Twin Falls that led to false stories, circulated nationally on the internet, about a supposed knifepoint gang-rape by Syrian refugees; here is the full statement:

The United States Attorney’s Office extends its support to the five-year-old victim of assault, and her family, at the Fawnbrook Apartments in Twin Falls.  The United States Attorney’s Office further encourages community members in Twin Falls and throughout Idaho to remain calm and supportive, to pay close attention to the facts that have been released by law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney, and to avoid spreading false rumors and inaccuracies.

“Grant Loebs is an experienced prosecutor, and Chief Craig Kingsbury is an experienced law enforcement officer.  They are moving fairly and thoughtfully in this case,” said Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for Idaho.  “As Mr. Loebs and Chief Kingsbury informed the public, the subjects in this case are juveniles, ages 14, 10 and 7.  The criminal justice system, whether at the state or federal level, requires that juveniles be afforded a specific process with significant restrictions on the information that can be released.  The fact that the subjects are juveniles in no way lessens the harm to or impact on the victim and her family.  The spread of false information or inflammatory or threatening statements about the perpetrators or the crime itself reduces public safety and may violate federal law.  We have seen time and again that the spread of falsehoods about refugees divides our communities.  I urge all citizens and residents to allow Mr. Loebs and Chief Kingsbury and their teams to do their jobs.”

The incident has remained in the news since it dominated a Twin Falls City Council meeting on Monday, where angry residents charged there was a cover-up; an 89-year-old woman at the apartment complex has given multiple interviews about finding the victim naked and covered in urine, and the apartment complex has begun eviction proceedings against the families of the three boys, two of whom were arrested and held in a juvenile detention facility, before being released to their parents' custody on Thursday.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: