MySpace Train to Juvie

Law enforcement flexes its Web-snooping muscle as a quartet of teen rapists is brought to justice.

The first of four juveniles has been sentenced to up to nine months in what's been called the Bellevue MySpace rape. And while the case underscores the threat of Internet predators, it has an upside: Because it was a crime that began online, it was also solved online, and led to additional charges when more evidence was discovered online.There, police were able to identify all the perpetrators involved in the potentially deadly gang rape of a 16-year-old Bellevue girl, who hooked up with the four teens last November through the social networking site. By backtracking through the suspects' MySpace pages and e-mail accounts, police obtained their names and details of the crime, and discovered photos of two of the teens posing with an illegal rifle. Eventually all four were charged with rape, and two with being juveniles in possession of a firearm after search warrants turned up the illegal weapon revealed in the pictures.Bellevue investigators took the photos seriously after learning from the teens' e-mails that they had discussed killing the rape victim if she contacted police. One of the photos shows a baby-faced suspect clutching a rifle, wearing gangster gear and a Mariners cap. The rifle, a cut-down Ruger .22 semi-automatic rifle, was the same gun used by another suspect in a separate online photo.Police said the MySpace messages and other evidence they obtained confirmed participation in the rape by Yevgeniy (Eugene) Sadykbayev, 17, Kirill Korostelev, 17, and Sergey Davniy, now 18, who all required Russian court interpreters, as well as 17-year-old Marshall Carpenter. All live in the Kent Valley. Sadykbayev messaged a MySpace acquaintance shortly after the rape, saying of his victim: "like 2 days ago I got her drunk and all 4 of us ran a train on her in kirills [sic] car." In another message, he said they'd gotten the girl so drunk she didn't know what was happening.All four pled guilty in King County Juvenile Court last month. On June 13, Davniy was sentenced to 15 to 36 weeks in juvenile custody. Korostelev and Sadykbayev each face 30 to 40 weeks and Carpenter 52 to 65 weeks when sentenced in a few weeks. (Juvenile jail authorities will determine the maximum amount of sentence served). Carpenter also faces revocation of a deferred sentence for a 2007 car prowl and attempted auto theft.The King County Prosecutor's Office has so far handled only a few Internet-related cases leading to assaults, says spokesperson Dan Donohoe, and some experts think the risks of attracting sexual predators through MySpace are overblown. Furthermore, a study last year in Journal of Adolescence found many MySpace users were careful about releasing personal information to anyone other than friends, and that "the overwhelming majority of adolescents are responsibly using the Web site."But there is ample anecdotal evidence that teens should remain guarded about making contact with strangers on the Net, caution officials. For example, just 10 days after the Bellevue girl's November 18 rape, two men were arrested in Connecticut for sexually assaulting two teen girls they met on MySpace.The Bellevue case is a study of unwise teenage choices. The victim told police she and a girlfriend met up with the four youths after exchanging messages on MySpace and arranging to be picked up at the victim's home. The girlfriend departed early but the victim went in a vehicle with the foursome, where she downed most of a bottle of wine.She quickly became intoxicated, according to Bellevue Detective Carl Kleinknecht, and later groggily "remembered being in the back seat of a red Ford Fusion with the males on top of her, one at a time," says the detective. She also "remembered seeing their faces on top of her while feeling 'stabbing pain' to her vaginal area," he adds.The assailants dropped her back at home three hours after they'd picked her up, partially covered with mud, vomiting, and without underwear. Her mother took her to the hospital for a sexual exam, and semen was discovered.Police say the girl was able to identify Sadykbayev and Carpenter through their MySpace pages; investigators also retrieved surveillance video from an Eastside Safeway where the girl said the teens had purchased alcohol. Further investigation led to MySpace pages belonging to Davniy and Korostelev. Kleinknecht says a tearful Davniy was first to confess, expressing remorse and identifying the others. He was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree assault. Court papers state he was ready to testify against his friends, who then opted to plead out to second-degree rape and, in the cases of Carpenter and Sadykbayev, to unlawful firearm possession as minors.Some of the rapists' MySpace pages are still around. On Davniy's page—where he spells his first name Sergiy, though he signs court documents Sergey—there are photos of himself and Korostelev, who, on his own page, says he came to MySpace for "Dating, Serious Relationships, Friends, Networking." There's also a photo of Carpenter in the M's cap, holding a rifle.The motto on Davniy's page, which features a photo of a Marui AK-47 assault rifle, is "live free die hard!!" That's in contrast to the music he's picked for the page, "The Reason" by Hoobastank, which begins: "I'm not a perfect person; there's [sic] many things I wish I didn't do. But I continue learning; I never meant to do those things to you."randerson@seattleweekly.com

 
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