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    Sunday, June 16, 2024

    Mom, aunt and 10 kids charged with assaulting 13-year-old girl in New London

    Keosha Muriel of New Haven was charged Monday, May 6, 2024, in connection with the group assault of her niece. (New London Police Department)
    Idinah Muriel of New London was charged Monday, May 6, 2024, in connection with the group assault of her daughter. (New London Police Department)

    New London ― Police said the mother of a 13-year-old city girl paid a group of 10 juveniles $50 to beat and humiliate the middle schooler who was whipped with a phone charging cord, choked and spit on, and had her hair pulled out.

    Police said the April 29 incident in the parking lot of O’Reilly Auto Parts at 413 Colman St. was captured on video and shared on social media and has led to the 12 arrests.

    The victim’s mother, 32-year-old Idinah Muriel of New London, and the victim’s aunt, 29-year-old Keosha Muriel of New Haven, who were arrested Monday, both face felony charges in connection with the incident and remain held on a $100,000 bond. Police said the aunt joined in the assault.

    Police became aware of the assault when videos of the 6:10 p.m. incident started circulating on social media, police Capt. Matthew Galante said in a statement. Officer Daquan Stuckey, who watched the video at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School on Friday and led the investigation, said that when she was questioned, Idinah Muriel stated “that she just wanted to humiliate the female juvenile victim for being disrespectful,” according to the affidavit for their arrest warrant.

    Idinah Muriel said she offered $50 to the juveniles to “beat the juvenile victim’s ass,” police said.

    One video, police said, shows Keosha Muriel pulling the victim from a car and telling the girl to apologize to Idinah Muriel. Keosha Muriel then begins striking the girl with a phone charger cable, taunting her and watching as the gathered juveniles violently pull the victim from the car, police said.

    At one point, two juveniles pin the victim to the ground while she can be heard saying “get off me,” the arrest warrant states. One juvenile places a knee on the girl’s throat, police said, and when she tells them she cannot breathe, they mock her by saying “George Floyd.” One juvenile spits on the victim’s face and others try to rip out the victim’s eyelashes and later pour water in the victim’s face to “water board” her, making her cry and scream.

    Police said another video shows two juveniles punching and “forcefully attacking” the victim in a car with Keosha and Idinah Muriel seated in the front seat.

    While she is being attacked, “Keosha can be seen on camera laughing at the treatment of her niece,” the warrant states. “The car is seen driving away from the scene with the juvenile female victim being restrained in a headlock.”

    Ten juveniles were issued summonses on numerous charges related to the incident and are due to appear at a later date in juvenile court. One 15-year-old faces charges that include second-degree strangulation, fourth-degree sexual assault and first-degree unlawful restraint. A 12-year-old also faces charges that include conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and first-degree unlawful restraint.

    Keosha Muriel is charged with cruelty to persons, third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, breach of peace, first-degree unlawful restraint and second-degree reckless endangerment.

    Idinah Muriel is charged with cruelty to persons, risk of injury to a minor, second-degree reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit third-degree assault, conspiracy to commit breach of peace and conspiracy to commit first-degree unlawful restraint.

    In an interview with police, Officer Stuckey said he told the victim what she went through “was not normal for a kid.”

    “She then opened up to me about the incident and stated her mom said she needed to be humiliated. The juvenile victim also stated to me that this is her life everyday and ‘it is what it is,’” the warrant states.

    When confronted by the video, “Keosha stated to me that the video is just my perception of things and that’s not what really happened,” police said.

    Idinah Muriel said her daughter was not hurt in the attack, but police said the victim sustained bruises and scratches and was taken to the hospital for treatment and left in the care of staff with the state Department of Children and Families.

    School staff had contacted DCF after viewing the video to report suspected child abuse, police said.

    g.smith@theday.com