Technology

'Sex assault' streamed on Facebook Live

Chicago police uniform Image copyright Getty Images

The alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl by five or six males was streamed on Facebook Live, according to Chicago Police.

Around 40 people were said to have been watching the stream at one point but nobody reported the incident to police.

A police spokesman said authorities first learned of what happened after the girl's mother approached the head of police as he was leaving a station.

Detectives have questioned several people but no arrests have been made.

The video has since been removed.

'Hideous crimes'

The girl, who had been missing for a day, has now been found by detectives and reunited with her family.

Her mother, whom the BBC is not naming, said her daughter appeared to be scared in the footage, adding "it's so disgusting".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Chicago Supt Eddie Johnson

"It's just terrible. I know they'll get their day coming," she said on Tuesday morning, before her daughter was found.

Chicago police chief, Supt Eddie Johnson, was said to be "visibly upset" after the girl's mother showed him screenshots of the video.

A relative of the girl, Reginald King, says he was the last to see her before the alleged attack, after the two attended church together on Sunday.

"Nobody deserves that. No human being deserves for that to happen to them," he told local media, adding that he suspects local "thugs" committed the attack.

After the girl was found, she was taken to hospital with injuries to her face, he told the Chicago Tribune.

A spokesman for Chicago police tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that police are "making good progress" in identifying the assailants.

"Interviews ongoing but no formal suspects named yet,", Anthony Guglielmi added.

"Crimes like this are hideous and we do not allow that kind of content on Facebook," a spokeswoman for the company said.

"We take our responsibility to keep people safe on Facebook very seriously and will remove videos that depict sexual assault and are shared to glorify violence."

In January, Chicago police arrested four people following a separate incident in which a man's alleged assault was live streamed, also on Facebook Live.

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