ST. PAUL, Minn. - Three adult males and a juvenile were charged Thursday for their involvement in what authorities are calling a "brazen" sexual assault and armed robbery.
The adults, 20-year-old Vershone Hodges, 19-year-old Devontre Vann and 18-year-old Dandray Easley are each charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault, four counts aggravated robbery and two counts of kidnapping. The 16-year-old will appear in juvenile court, where prosecutors will attempt to have him certified as an adult on those same charges.
Criminal complaints issued against the men detail how the defendants approached a group of four young friends at a park near Harriet Island late Monday/early Tuesday morning with the juvenile holding a gun. The victims say the four defendants demanded their valuables and told them to lay face down on the pavement. The vehicle the victims were traveling in was ransacked, their cell phones stolen and the assailants forced all four victims to give up their passwords and forced to disable their iCloud and Find My Phone apps.
At that point they forced two female victims into a nearby vehicle where they were repeatedly raped at gunpoint.
As they left, investigators say the defendants threw the car keys of the victims in the bushes and told them if they left the vehicle they would be shot.
The victims then ran to Raspberry Island for help.
Police say three of the four involved in the rapes and robbery are known gang members. Three of the four defendants were arrested early Tuesday morning after committing an armed robbery near the Super America store on Robert Street in West St. Paul. The fourth was taken into custody a bit later.
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