Woman becomes sixth person tied to rape case
BATON ROUGE - On Thursday, authorities said a woman became the sixth person tied to the repeated rape of a 12-year-old girl.
East Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputies said they're looking for 22-year-old Jessica Carr of Baton Rouge. Carr and five other men are accused of raping the 12-year-old girl.
Today, a relative of two of the men accused in the twisted rape case defended them.
"I believe the girl lied," Mary Edwards said.
Edwards is the aunt of Ivy Martin and the mother of Brandon Edwards. Edwards was seen leaving the West Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse Wednesday with Clarence Tillman. Edwards is accused of raping the child, and Tillman is accused of watching.
Today, charges were upgraded on both men. Tillman now faces principle to aggravated rape and oral sexual battery, while Edwards faces an additional count of aggravated rape.
"She was 11 when they started this nonsense," the victim's relative said. "It was liquor and drugs and all kind of things involved."
Also tied to the rape case are Michael Sherbin and Arthur Jones.
"They manipulated the little child into having sex and agreeing to let other guys watch while they had sex with her," Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown said.
Mary Edwards is having a tough time digesting what her loved ones are accused of doing.
"I know my son is a good child," Edwards said. "My son and my nephew is a good child, they would not do that."
Tillman's upgraded charges come as a result of a new law that requires witnesses to the sexual abuse of a child to report it, or face additional criminal charges. His bail was set at $300,000.
Since the child was under the age of 13 at the time of the rapes, state law allows the district attorney to seek the death penalty in this case. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said it would be considered if appropriate under the facts. West Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Ricky Ward did not get back to us by news time.