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6:48 PM Thu, Sept. 20th

Charges dropped in case of 3 boys accused in rape

PRESCOTT - The Yavapai County Attorney's Office has dismissed charges against three boys accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl on Jan. 31, according to Chief Deputy County Attorney Dennis McGrane. However, they still may face charges.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office previously reported the victim told deputies she had been assaulted. The girl said one of the teenage boys called her that Saturday evening and asked if she wanted to hang out with some friends. She agreed, and the boys picked her up at her home.

The four teens reportedly drove together to a remote area outside Cottonwood. The three boys allegedly told the victim there was an outdoor party. Instead, the vehicle stopped in the remote area, where authorities allege the three boys sexually assaulted the girl. According to the YCSO, the boys took the girl back to her home around midnight.

After an investigation, the YCSO arrested two 16-year-old boys at Mingus Union High School. The third, age 17, was arrested at his home in Cottonwood.

The three appeared in court on Thursday, Feb. 19, where Deputy County Attorney Carol Kennedy argued that they should be held in custody until a planned hearing Friday, Feb. 27, where it was anticipated they would be charged as adults. Judge Anna Young agreed to hold them.

McGrane said they have now been released, but could still be charged.

"The investigation by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office is ongoing and additional information is expected," he said. "A final charging decision will be made by the County Attorney's Office when all information is received."

Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy