Parents of Liberian rape victim set free due to language barrier

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PHOENIX – A Valley couple arrested for child abuse has been set free.

They are the parents of a 9-year old Liberian girl who was gang-raped at a Phoenix apartment complex last summer.

Soon after the incident the couple was arrested for child abuse but they are now out of jail because the courts cannot find someone who speaks their language.

The two have been in jail for several months getting ready for trial but the judge says the trial cannot go on if the parents cannot understand it.

Instead of keeping them in jail while the court tries to find someone who can interpret their language, the judge decided to take away their passports and set them free until the court finds an interpreter.

3TV’s cameras were the only ones rolling last November as officers arrested the parents of the then 8-year-old Liberian refugee allegedly raped by four young fellow Liberians.

The parents were accused of abusing their daughter. Investigators say they used sticks wires and their fists to hit her and often left her wandering the apartments alone at night begging for food.

On Tuesday 3TV went looking for the parents at home, which is where the court sent them, after they could not find a translator to interpret their language.

Pastor James Nyemah says, “They couldn't understand what was really going on. Their lawyers wanted to communicate with them and having problems.”

The girl’s father told 3TV last summer, “In my own heart, nothing has happened to my daughter, nothing has happened to my daughter. We went to the hospital and the doctor checked and after the doctor checked, after the results, he said nothing happened to her."

While the parents are no longer in police custody, they will be back in court to face a trial when the court finds an interpreter. The judge set conditions for their release. They can only see their four other kids under adult supervision and they are not allowed to have any contact with their daughter who was involved in the alleged rape.