Five volunteer firefighters in Strasburg Virginia are being investigated. Allegations of a gang rape of a 17 year old that occurred not only in the firehouse but also at a home and a hotel. What the town manager is saying, at noon on @ABC7News pic.twitter.com/zxMYWn0cW7
— John Gonzalez (@ABC7John) November 15, 2017
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Five Strasburg (VA) Fire Department members are under investigation over allegations that a 17-year-old girl was gang raped at the firehouse, the Fairfield Inn and a firefighter’s home in April of this year. Video of the incident is reported to have been shared on Snapchat.
Search warrants have been served at the homes of the firefighters and the fire department. According to news reports, cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices from the suspects and victim have been taken into custody and data has been downloaded.
So far no charges have been filed.
Shenandoah County authorities say the alleged rape was recorded and then shared on Snapchat.
According to court records the alleged crime occurred back in the spring. The teenager was allegedly highly intoxicated was taken to three different locations: the fire department, a home of one of the men and a hotel.
The probe was launched after the mayor contacted town police back in April after receiving reports from “concerned citizens,” according to a previously-sealed court document.
An investigator stated in an affidavit for search warrants that the alleged victim’s mother provided screen shots and text messages to authorities which indicated the 17-year-old was “highly intoxicated” and was “intimidated by all the suspects.” Text messages also revealed the teenager was told by the suspects a video, which she was not aware was created, was “taken and shared” on the mobile app Snapchat “with different people.”
In addition, the screenshots and text messages showed the alleged victim did not consent to having sex with one of the men, the court affidavit states.
The five men under investigation, who range in age from 20 to 36 years old, have not yet been charged with any crime, and therefore will not be named in the Daily’s news coverage of the case unless or until charges have been filed.
According to the affidavit for search warrants conducted in the investigation, “concerned citizens” contacted Strasburg Mayor Rich Orndorff on April 5 to report a video depicting the “gang rape” of a 17-year-old girl by members of the department that had been circulated through SnapChat, a mobile image and video messaging application. The department members in the video also allegedly discussed and shared the video with other fire and rescue members, the affidavit states.