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

Three men accused raping 9-year-old Native girl in Utah found not guilty

Three men accused of raping a 9-year-old Native girl were found not guilty after a trial in Utah last week.

Larson RonDeau, 38, Randall Flatlip, 28, and Jerry Flatlip, 31, were each charged with first-degree felony counts of rape of a child and sodomy upon a child. Though the victim testified about being assaulted via video, defense attorneys said there was no evidence to connect them to a crime.

"Not a shred of physical evidence. No DNA or anything," one defense attorney said at closing arguments last Tuesday, The Desert News reported.

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

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 Associated Press reported.

Read More on the Story:
Three accused of gang-rape of 9-year-old girl found not guilty (The Desert News May 9, 2018)
After waiting two years behind bars for a trial, three Utah men are found not guilty of gang-raping a 9-year-old girl (The Salt Lake Tribune May 9, 2018)
Men accused of gang-raping 9-year-old girl found not guilty (Fox13 May 9, 2018)
3 men found not guilty of raping girl, 9, as mom smoked meth (The Associated Press May 9, 2018)

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