3 MS-13 members arrested in Alexandria rape, police say

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A 16-year-old girl was raped early Saturday in Alexandria by three members of the MS-13 street gang, Alexandria police alleged in court documents Tuesday.

Police said the attack occurred in a vacant apartment in the 5700 block of Dunster Court on the west side of Alexandria, off North Beauregard Street. Police were called at 12:48 a.m. to the apartment, and the victim told police she was inside with two friends when the gang members, armed with an aluminum baseball bat, burst in, according to a search warrant affidavit written by Alexandria Detective Sean Casey.

The suspects confronted the girl and her two friends and threatened them with violence if they tried to leave, the victim told police. The three then repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted the 16-year-old and ripped a necklace from her neck and a gold ring from her finger, Casey's affidavit states.

The victim was able to run from the apartment after her jewelry was taken, she told police, and she called for help. She was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment.

"All three suspects are known members of the MS-13 criminal street gang," Casey wrote.

On Monday, Alexandria police obtained a search warrant for the residence of Henry Herrera, 21, in the 6800 block of Westmoreland Road in the Falls Church area of Alexandria, and records indicate that jewelry matching that taken from the girl was found.

Herrera, Eric Duarte, 21, of Fairfax County and a 17-year-old Alexandria resident have been arrested, Alexandria police spokesman Jody Donaldson said. He was unable to specify the charges, which were filed in juvenile court because of the victim's age.

Alexandria police did not disclose the incident or the arrests in the days after the attack, and immediately moved to seal the search warrant after a reporter obtained it. Donaldson declined to discuss why police did not report the incident.

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