Family members react to arrests in rape of 12-year-old girl

Published: Dec. 5, 2013 at 3:29 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM CST
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PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - Police said the rape of a 12-year-old girl now includes five people and more arrests could be on the way. Police said the victim was raped several times, dating back to this summer. Her aunt still finds it difficult to find the words to describe her pain.

"It's like my world fell from underneath me when I heard it was my niece," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

Five men are still behind bars in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and West Baton Rouge Parish Prison, charged with sex crimes. Investigators charged Ivy Martin, 38, the live-in boyfriend of the victim's mother, with multiple counts of rape.

According to a probable cause report from EBRSO, Michael Sherbin of Baton Rouge told investigators he had sex with the girl as well in July, immediately after watching Martin have sex with the victim.

Another report stated the victim reported Arthur Lee Jones of Baker had sex with her immediately after Martin in October. The report added Jones also told police he knew that Martin allowed other men to have sex with the victim but he failed to do anything about it.

"You don't want this to happen to anybody else and I surely didn't want this to happen to her. My niece was a bubbly little girl and now she barely talks. It's hard for us as a family to know he stole something from her she'll never get back," said the victim's aunt.

The latest arrests Tuesday, according to a Port Allen Police Department document, involved Clarence Tillman, 60, who is charged with witnessing a rape and sexual assault about eight months ago. Brandon Edwards, 26, is accused of sexual battery.

Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown said the alleged assaults involving men from Port Allen and Baton Rouge hit close to home.

"It's very disturbing; it's disgusting," said Brown. "I have a child and it just touches my heart and goes out to the parent and family and we're going to do everything in our fullest to get everyone that's involved."

"It's still very much an ongoing investigation; they're still conducting interviews; they're still gathering information," added Casey Rayborn Hicks with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. "So, there definitely could be additional arrests, as well as additional charges made on those that were already arrested."

Family members of the victim believe all the men already charged with the sexual assaults should remain in prison.

"I do, I really do. They all should be in jail for the rest of their lives because I don't think any child is safe from these guys," said the victim's aunt.

Martin is still being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison without bond. Jones and Sherbin are being held there as well. They remain locked up on $1 million bond each.

Tillman is being held in the West Baton Rouge Parish Prison on $10,000 bond. Edwards remains behind bars there as well on a $50,000 bond.

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