TWIN FALLS - Settlements have been reached, and three juveniles have pleaded guilty in the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in Twin Falls, the Twin Falls County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday.
Three boys - ages 14, 10 and 7 at the time of the attack - were accused in the June 2 assault at the Fawnbrook Apartments.
The case sparked uproar across Idaho and beyond after the girl was reportedly sexually assaulted in the laundry room of the apartments.
The boys were mistakenly identified on social media and conspiracy-oriented websites as Syrian refugees. Officials later confirmed that the the youngest boy is of Iraqi descent, and the two oldest are Sudanese.
Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury has said that all three boys had been in the United States for less than two years at the time of the assault, but he wasn't certain of their refugee status.
The prosecutor's office said the family of the victim and the victim's attorney approved the the following settlements reached in the three cases presided over by the Hon. Thomas H. Borresen:
- One defendant pleaded guilty to felony sexual exploitation of a child and misdemeanor battery.
- The second defendant pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting felony lewd conduct and aiding and abetting misdemeanor battery.
- The third boy pleaded guilty to accessory to the commission of a felony.
"I'm pleased that we were able to resolve this case in a way that was approved and agreed to by the victim's family and their attorney," Twin Falls Prosecutor Grant Loebs told KTVB Tuesday afternoon. "This continues to be a serious and sad case, but it was resolved properly."
Twin Falls authorities last summer said other misinformation that circulated on social media and online included that the boys gang-raped the girl, that they were armed with a knife, or that a parent of one of the children "high-fived" or congratulated them on the sexual assault.
Because the boys are juveniles, specific details about the case are sealed.
Sentencing dispositions will be held later, the prosecutor's office said.