4 charged in armed robbery, sexual assault near Harriet Island in St. Paul

Three adults and one juvenile have been charged in connection with an armed robbery and sexual assault near Harriet Island in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota early Tuesday morning.

Vershone Hodges, 20, Devontre Vann, 19, and Deondray Easley, 19, and a 16-year-old boy are all charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct, four counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of kidnapping. Hodges, Easley and the 16-year-old are known gang members according to Ramsey County.

In a statement, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi called the allegations "brutally horrific." 

According to the criminal complaint, the suspects approached a group of four friends, aged 17 and 18 who were eating food in the parking lot near Harriet Island.

One of the teenagers recognized the 16-year-old boy from school and went up to talk to him. After a brief conversation, the suspect yelled at him and pulled out a handgun. 

The victims were forced to lie face down on the ground while the suspects ransacked the car and went through their pockets. They stole everyone’s phones and forced them to unlock them at gunpoint. The suspects also stole cash and a purse.

The men then forced the two girls in the group into the car and repeatedly raped them at gunpoint.

As they left, the suspects tossed the victim’s car keys in the bushes and told them if they exited the car to look for the keys, they would be shot.

The suspects were arrested later that morning at a robbery at a Super America in West St. Paul. 

The three adult suspects made their first court appearance on Thursday. Ramsey County Attorney's Office says prosecutors will seek adult certification for the 16-year-old to try him as an adult.