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Ga. boys, ages 8 and 9, charged in rape, kidnap of girl, 11

            ACWORTH, Ga. — Three boys ages 8 and 9 were being held Monday in a detention center on charges of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl in the woods near a suburban apartment complex, officials said.

            The alleged attack happened Thursday and the girl’s mother reported it to authorities Sunday, Acworth police Capt. Wayne Dennard said.

            ‘‘The victim said they were playing outdoors and the girl was forced into a wooded area where she was sexually assaulted, where one of the boys raped her,’’ Dennard told The Associated Press.

            The three boys — an 8-year-old and two 9-year-olds — were charged with rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment and sexual assault, Dennard said. They were due in juvenile court Monday afternoon. Their names were being withheld because of their age.

            Acworth Police Chief Mike Wilkie said said one of the boys was accused of threatening to hit the girl with a rock before the assault occurred.

            Wilkie also said the investigation is ‘‘far from over,’’ and investigators are looking into claims that after the incident, the girl talked about it with her friends at a slumber party.

            The father of the 8-year-old boy said his son had been falsely accused. Any sexual activity was consensual, and the girl accused her playmates only after her parents had learned she had sexual relations, said Brandon LeBlanc.

            ‘‘There was no violence involved,’’ LeBlanc said. ‘‘This is a clear case of a girl who didn’t want to get in trouble with her parents.’’

            He added, ‘‘In order to save her hide, she tried to blame it on rape.’’

            The girl’s mother, however, told WGCL TV in Atlanta, ‘‘They do need to be taught a lesson because if they do it to her, they could do it to somebody else,’’ the victim’s mother said. ‘‘And who knows when they become teenagers what they can do to other girls.’’

            The incident involves children from a working class apartment complex on the northern outskirts of metro Atlanta.

            LeBlanc said the kids all played together, biking or throwing a ball around in the apartment complex’s parking lot.

            He said his son is a third grader at a local Baptist school who loves the Atlanta Falcons and is a batboy for his church’s softball league.

            Prosecutors had not received the case report from police on Monday, nor had they decided whether to try the suspects as adults.

            ‘‘That decision hasn’t been made,’’ said Kathy Watkins, a spokeswoman for the Cobb County District Attorney’s office. She had no further comment.

            Acworth, 30 miles northwest of Atlanta along the shores of Lake Allatoona, is a town of about 17,000.

            Acworth police said their department has never before investigated allegations of rape where all the parties were this young.

            ‘‘This wouldn’t be normal anywhere, but especially not Acworth,’’ Dennard said.

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