- The Washington Times - Monday, January 11, 2016

Four teenagers have been charged as adults in connection with the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman in a Brooklyn park — including two boys who were turned in to police by their parents.

The New York Police Department confirmed Tuesday that four boys — 14-year-old Denzel Murray, 15-year-old Shaquell Cooper, 15-year-old Ethan Phillip and 17-year-old Onandi Brown — are all facing charges of rape, criminal sex act, and sex abuse. A fifth suspect was said to be taken into police custody on Tuesday morning.

The four boys originally arrested were expected to be arraigned on the criminal charges Tuesday afternoon.

Parents of the two 15-year-olds brought them into Brooklyn’s 73rd Precinct on Sunday after they saw surveillance video featuring their children’s images that police released Saturday, according to local TV station WPIX-TV. The 14-year-old and 17-year-old were separately apprehended by police.

News of the brazen attack Thursday night set off waves of fear in the Brownsville neighborhood over the weekend and led community activists to question whether the police department had adequately advised residents about the crime.

Police said the 18-year-old woman was with her father in Osborn Playground when five men approached them. One of them threatened the father with a gun and told him to leave the area. After the father fled, the five men took turns raping the woman.

The father flagged down a police patrol car and directed officers to the scene, but the assailants had fled the area.

The woman was taken to Kings County Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The NYPD has come under criticism over whether officials could have notified the public more quickly about the attack.

Police asked the public for help in identifying the rapists Saturday and released surveillance video from a nearby bodega that shows the suspects entering the store ahead of the attack.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams asked why police waited two days to alert the public of the rape.

“Something is not right,” Mr. Adams told the New York Daily News. “The community needs to be notified immediately when we have such a savage attack with a handgun and a rape.”

In a separate statement, Mr. Adams asked for a full investigation into the rape and “to determine if everything possible was done to protect the victim and the public.”

The NYPD denied that it took too long to release information. A spokesman said Sunday that officials began notifying community leaders about the attack Friday. Deputy Commissioner Stephen P. Davis said investigators recovered the surveillance video from the bodega at 2 p.m. Saturday and released it six hours later.

“There was no delay in responding to the rape in the 73 Precinct,” Commissioner Davis said.

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