Updated post June 28, noon:
U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson has issued a second statement regarding an investigation into the assault of a 5-year-old girl in Twin Falls. Here's the full text of her second statement:
“Many in the press, public and online bloggers are misinterpreting the statement I issued on Friday, June 24, 2016, in support of the five-year-old victim of an assault in Twin Falls, Idaho, and in support of the law enforcement authorities there who are prosecuting the case. The statement was not intended to and does not threaten to arrest or prosecute anyone for First Amendment protected speech.
Original post: June 24, 10:56 a.m.:
I issued the statement because public officials in Twin Falls have received threats. Certain threatening or harassing communications may violate federal law and will be investigated. I am also concerned that intentionally false and inflammatory rumors are creating an unsafe environment in Twin Falls. In this case, it appears that the threats have resulted from false and inflammatory information spread about this crime, often times by those from outside of the community. I encourage all to be patient while the juvenile justice system works. I also encourage all to support this victim and her family.”
While the office of U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson hasn't indicated it could launch an investigation into the assault on a 5-year-old girl at an apartment complex in Twin Falls, her office has issued a statement on the controversy surrounding the attack.
The statement is a call for calm as Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs and Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury investigate the crime and mete out justice for those responsible. It comes amid false and inflammatory reports about the crime spread by anti-refugee Internet chatter
and national media coverage
of the ensuing controversy.
Here's the statement:
“Grant Loebs is an experienced prosecutor, and Chief Craig Kingsbury is an experienced law enforcement officer. They are moving fairly and thoughtfully in this case,” said Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for Idaho. “As Mr. Loebs and Chief Kingsbury informed the public, the subjects in this case are juveniles, ages 14, 10 and 7. The criminal justice system, whether at the state or federal level, requires that juveniles be afforded a specific process with significant restrictions on the information that can be released. The fact that the subjects are juveniles in no way lessens the harm to or impact on the victim and her family. The spread of false information or inflammatory or threatening statements about the perpetrators or the crime itself reduces public safety and may violate federal law. We have seen time and again that the spread of falsehoods about refugees divides our communities. I urge all citizens and residents to allow Mr. Loebs and Chief Kingsbury and their teams to do their jobs.”
The assault on the young girl took place June 2. Some reports have included debunked details about Syrian refugee children raping the child at knifepoint. Though law enforcement and prosecutors have released little information about the crime, they have said no gang rape occurred, there was no knife, and the suspects are juveniles from Iraq and Sudan, not Syria.