UPDATE: Hearing for 14-year-old accused of rape canceled

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PHOENIX -- A preliminary hearing scheduled for a 14-year-old Liberian boy accused of raping an 8-year-old girl has been canceled.

Teen indicted

Police talk about sexual assault of 8-year-old - The Phoenix Police Department says four boys sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl in a vacant storage shed.

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The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said the hearing was voided because the teen has been indicted by a grand jury.

The next step in the legal process is an arraignment for the teen.

A county grand jury on Friday indicted the teen on one count of kidnapping, one count of sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor, and four counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

Prosecutors have charged the 14-year-old as an adult, while three other boys -- ages 9, 10 and 13 -- have been charged in juvenile court with sexual assault.

Police say the boys lured the girl to an empty storage shed July 16 with the promise of chewing gum. Investigators say the boys then restrained the girl and took turns sexually assaulting her.

The alleged victim remains in state custody.

All five of the children are Liberian refugees.

Leaders of Arizona's Liberian community told their compatriots at a Sunday church service they're working to dispel any stereotypes about the West African nation that may arise in the aftermath of the alleged rape of an 8-year-old girl by four boys.

Robert Sherman, president of the Liberian Association of Arizona, told the congregation at Africa Faith Expressions in west Phoenix that news reports of the attack have included inaccurate descriptions that rape and those who commit it are accepted in Liberia.

He says such reports are leading to negative views of Liberians, and he worries it will lead to backlash against the community.

Police say four boys lured the girl to an empty storage shed July 16, promising her chewing gum. Investigators say the boys took turns sexually assaulting her.

ORIGINAL STORY: Teen indicted in alleged rape of girl in Phoenix

PHOENIX -- Authorities say a 14-year-old Liberian refugee has been indicted in connection with the alleged rape of an 8-year-old girl in a storage shed of a Phoenix apartment complex.

Police say the boys lured the girl to an empty storage shed on July 16 with the promise of chewing gum and then restrained her while allegedly taking turns sexually assaulting her.

The incident has ignited an international outcry, including comments from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the home country of the girl's family and the four suspects.

Prosecutors say the 14-year-old has been charged as an adult in the case while the other boys -- ages 9, 10 and 13 -- have been charged in juvenile court. All four were arrested July 21.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced Saturday that a county grand jury has indicted the 14-year-old boy on one count of kidnapping, one count of sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)