From left: Jerry Flatlip, Larson RonDeau and Randall Flatlip. Photos: Uintah County Sheriff's Office

Three men go on trial for allegedly raping 9-year-old Native girl

Three men are on trial in Utah state court for allegedly sexually assaulting a 9-year-old Native girl.

Larson RonDeau, 38, Randall Flatlip, 28, and Jerry Flatlip, 31, are each charged with first-degree felony counts of rape of a child and sodomy upon a child. They are accused of assaulted the girl at a home in Uintah County in March 2016.

According to the Uintah County Sheriff's Office, the incident took place as the girls' mother was smoking methamphetamine at the home. The mother subsequently reported the rape after being told about it by her daughter.

"Occasionally there are incidents that we face that are shocking to the conscience, and this case has certainly been one of those for us all," the office said in a subsequent post on Facebook, after the crime drew widespread attention.

Four men were initially charged with the assault. But charges were dropped against Josiah RonDeau after the girl's mother failed to testify at a preliminary hearing, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The remaining three defendants originally went on trial last year. But a mistrial was declared because too few people showed up as potential jurors, The Associated Press reported.

Vernal serves as the county seat in Uintah County. The area was set aside for the Ute Tribe but state and local officials claim it is no larger a part of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation.

The defendants all appear to be Native. The victim, now 11 years old, is also Native -- she was taken from her mother following the incident and is now in the care of an unidentified tribe, the AP reported.

The girl testified via video link on the opening day of the trial on Thursday, according to news reports. The trial is taking place in Salt Lake City, about 175 miles from Vernal. The venue has been changed twice, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Read More on the Story:
Girl testifies in Utah trial of 3 men accused of raping her (The Associated Press May 3, 2018)
As trial begins for three Utah men accused of gang raping a 9-year-old girl, the defense points to lack of physical evidence in the case (The Salt Lake Tribune May 3, 2018)
Three accused of gang rape of 9-year-old girl go on trial (Fox13Now May 3, 2018)

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