Suspects Arrested, Charged in #Jadapose Rape Case
Screenshot MSNBC interview with Jada
Two teenage suspects have been arrested in connection with a Houston-area rape that made national headlines after photos of the unconscious girl were posted to Twitter and mocked under the hashtag #Jadapose.
Nineteen-year-old Clinton Onyeahialam and an unnamed 16-year-old were arrested earlier this month in connection with the sexual assault of Jada, a Stafford-area girl who was photographed and bullied on social media after allegedly being drugged and raped at a house party in June.
Onyeahialam has been charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child in connection with the alleged assault, according to HPD. No information is available on the charges against the 16-year-old, who is being referred to Harris County Juvenile Probation officials.
According to Jada, who has spoken out a number of times since the incident, she attended the party with three of her friends, where she was given a drink that she suspects was drugged. She remembers being taken upstairs, she says, but has no recollection of what happened in the hours following.
It wasn't until the following week, when she ran across photos on Twitter of her half-naked, unconscious body sprawled across the floor of the party, tagged with #Jadapose, that she began to put the pieces together.
The hashtag ultimately became a sick trend on Twitter in which her peers and other social media users would mock Jada's photo by uploading images of themselves bottomless and pretending to be passed out, tagging the photos with #Jadapose.
But Jada refused to remain silent on the issue, and spoke out against the cyberbullying in the weeks following the alleged rape.
"There's no point in hiding," she told KHOU. "Everybody has already seen my face and my body, but that's not what I am and who I am."
Thousands of social media users nationwide rallied in support of the teen, which led to the creation a new hashtag, #IAmJada.
Screenshot of MSNBC Video showing Clinton Onyeahialam, suspect in the Jada case
On Tuesday, the teenager and Quanell X, who is acting as the family's spokesperson, told MSNBC's Ronan Farrow they are relieved and grateful that an arrest has been made in the case.
"It's wonderful about the arrests, but I'm just grateful and thankful for everyone who followed and supported me," the teenager told Farrow.
During the interview, Quanell X also questioned why the investigation took so long.
"There was so much evidence, mountains of evidence, to show Jada was not the only young girl that they had did this to," he alleged.
"So it did take quite a long period of time with so much evidence out there, even these young men's confession and being braggadocious about it in social media," he said.
Jada also addressed the response from her peers following the arrest, which is, unfortunately, on par with the original response following the alleged assault at the party.
"From my community, there's very little support still, such as the teenagers, but as adults, they're very supportive. And people outside of my community are very supportive. I learned that some people have hearts and some people just go with what they hear," she said.