Six firefighters in the United States have avoided serious charges after a 17-year-old girl accused them of gang-raping her.

The squad, which is based in Strasburg, Virginia, have instead been charged with delinquency of a minor. The charge is given to an adult who helps a person younger than 18 commit an illegal act and is a misdemeanour. The maximum penalty they face is one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

According to WJLA, the video was allegedly filmed and shared through Snapchat. The victim's mother said her daughter was "highly intimidated" by the firefighters. The victim said she was extremely intoxicated at the time. The mother provided stills of the footage to police.

The fire department chief, Dale King, and captain, Christopher Pangle, were among the six men charged. All of them are between the age of 21 and 36.

Local police were tipped off about the incident in April last year after a citizen made contact with the Strasburg mayor. It was alleged the girl was raped at one of the firefighters' homes and again at a hotel.

Strasburg Mayor Rich Orndorff told WJLA in November that Strasburg was a "very close-knit community". "This is not Strasburg," Orndorff said. "This is very disheartening."