When Liberty County's District Attorney Mike Little gagged anyone involved in the Cleveland gang rape case -- in which an 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped brutally by multiple men and boys -- from talking, you'd think he'd hang around as the singular voice for his muted county. Instead, it appears he's gone on vacation.
Today, as new information surfaced via the Houston Chronicle, the D.A. is nowhere to be found. We at the Houston Press called up Little, the only one authorized to talk to the media about one of the biggest cases in Cleveland's history. Cathy McClusky, the secretary, said that Little has been out the entire week and she's "not certain" when he'll return.
Little picked a pretty bad time to hang up the gone fishin' sign.
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It turns out the alleged rapes didn't take place just one day over Thanksgiving break. Rather, they took place at least four times over a three-month period, court records obtained by the Chronicle reveal.
This means more substantial charges for those who participated in the rape on more than one date. If found guilty, those charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child could serve a minimum of 25 years. Being convicted of a single incident guarantees at least five years.
Additionally, the cell phones of three of the men charged with continuous sexual assault -- Timothy Daray Ellis, 19; Jared Len Cruse, 18; and Isaiah Rashad Ross, 21 -- were confiscated and are being analyzed for deleted pictures, texts and videos. If pornographic pictures of the victim are discovered, they could be charged with possessing child pornography with intent to distribute. This recovered information could easily result in the arrests of more suspects.
As for who released the new information, well, McClusky told us we'd just have to speak with Mr. Little about that -- whenever he chooses to return.