Authorities investigating the gang rape that allegedly took place in a park in New York City’s Brooklyn borough were examining three cellphones belonging to some of the boys accused of the crime after defense lawyers said that at least one of the boys took video of the young lady “smiling” and “laughing” during the incident, ABC News reports.
The network notes that it is unclear whether the video clip would help or hurt the boys’ case. It is not clear at what point during the encounter the video was taken or what happened after the camera was turned off.
“I think the video casts more doubt on what exactly happened in this case,” one of the boy’s lawyers, Abdula Greene, said, according to ABC.
Police Deputy Chief Edward Mullen said that cops got search warrants for the cellphones and took them after the arrest. Investigators say that two of the accused teens claim that when they went into the park in the Brownsville neighborhood, they found the 18-year-old girl having some type of sexual encounter with an older man, who was later identified as the girl’s father.
Authorities said that the father was scared off by the boys but returned, only to flee again when one of the teens allegedly pulled a gun. The father later flagged down a police car for help, and the girl told police that she was raped by the boys. The teens have been charged as adults for the alleged assault.
The reported gun is also a point of dispute in the case, since a handgun has not been recovered. The teens have claimed that the encounter was consensual.
On Tuesday, four of the defendants—17-year-old Onandi Brown, 14-year-old Denzel Murray, and two 15-year-olds, Shaquell Cooper and Ethan Phillip—appeared in court to face charges including rape, a criminal sex act and sexual abuse.
The fifth teen, 17-year-old Travis Beckford, was arraigned Wednesday night on similar charges.
Read more at ABC News.