MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Four Rutherford county boys, ages 10 to 11, have been charged with the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl.
All four of the suspects have gone before a juvenile court judge, and all four were charged with the equivalent of a Class A felony.
Three of the boys were accused of holding an 11-year-old girl down while the fourth raped her.
The alleged attack did not happen at any school, but outside in a neighborhood not far from the alleged victim's home.
"The crime would be the same crime as an adult. Based on the facts this could be an aggravated rape," said Newschannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo. Newschannel 5 is RTV6's sister station.
Murfreesboro Police and the juvenile court judge all declined to comment about the case because those involved are minors.
Leonardo said this charge, involving such young suspects, was unusual, but ... "I think we are starting to see more and more cases in the juvenile system the past few years."
Part of this case also landed in adult court. The mother of one of the suspects was arrested and accused of assaulting the mother of the alleged victim.
She bonded out of jail, and all four of the juvenile suspects have been released. "There's no bond in juvenile court," said Leonardo.
Three of them are back in school, and a fourth has yet to return.
School officials said they were aware three of the suspects have since attended classes, and said they have taken steps, as always, to ensure the safety of all students.