Virginia State Police confirmed on Wednesday (15 November) that they are investigating an alleged gang rape of a teenage girl by at least five firefighters of the Strasburg Fire Department. The men are also accused of recording the incident and posting it on Snapchat.
A search warrant affidavit in connection to this case was recently unsealed, which references possession and distribution of child pornography, and gives details of the accusations. However, no charges have been filed yet against any of them, Fox5 news channel reported.
The alleged assault happened in Spring 2017, according to local media reports. It reportedly came to notice after some "concerned citizens" in the town of Strasburg alerted their Mayor Richard Orndorff Junior of the existence of a video of the alleged crime.
The search affidavit mentioned the victim as "a 17-year-old white female" who was allegedly gang raped by "members of the Strasburg Fire Department".
The affidavit also stated that the assault happened at three different locations — the Strasburg Fire Department Company 51, the home of one of the accused firefighters, and at a Strasburg hotel.
The alleged victim's mother and step-father provided screenshots of the circulated video to investigators, who said that the teenager appeared "highly intoxicated" and was "intimidated by all the suspects". They added that the teenager said sex with one of the men was not consensual.
Mayor Orndorff reportedly discussed the case with the town manager and police officials, who collectively decided the state police should handle the investigation. Virginia State Police launched the investigation in April.
One of the accused firefighters reportedly declined to comment on the allegations when asked by local media agencies. He said that he did not want to comment publicly until he has information about the accusations.
Fox5 news channel wrote that they tried to contact the fire department and the chief replied that they will issue a statement on the case soon.
All the accused men are still working with the Strasburg Fire Department, the news channel noted.