The multiple rapes of an 11-year-old girl in Cleveland, Texas in 2010 got national attention. That girl is now 14, living in Houston, and seven-months pregnant. She says her 15 year old boyfriend is the father, and she intends to keep the baby. She is still a juvenile so her name is still being withheld.
People are still of two minds concerning the crime. It has been claimed, most harshly by defense attorney Steve Taylor during the rape trial of Jared Len Cruse, that the 11-year-old was, as he told the jury, a “spider” entrapping boys and men in her web. Some say she had it coming.
Most say no one, regardless of age, can be held responsible for being raped. Assault and rape are never acceptable. Sex involving a child is never appropriate or acceptable.
The child is now a teenager and is soon to be a mother.
“Abuse does affect your ability to make good decisions,” Susan Tortelero, Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, told KTRH. “There are interventions, and therapy, and we need to be giving teens the tools they need to make healthier choices.”
“It is so sad for this little girl and this baby,” says Mary Jo Rapini, a family therapist. Rapini told KTRH, “I think we have to start looking at the whole picture and thinking that we as a society, not only her family, let her down and fall through the cracks.” Rapini said the teenager needs intense mental health care.
Attorney Steve Taylor said he is not surprised by the pregnancy. He said the incarceration of those convicted on charges of assault and rape will likely cost the state’s taxpayers more than three million dollars.