Gulfport, MS - A Facebook Live video of a woman being physically and sexually assaulted went viral before it was removed, according to the SunHerald.
Police responded to a call of an assault on Tuesday, July 11 about 11:46 PM in the 3100 block of 7th Avenue. Upon arrival, they discovered the victim, who told them she had been assaulted.
Gulfport Police Chief said that detectives worked through the night on the investigation, and obtained warrants for Haleigh Hudson, age 19, and Ezzie Johnson, age 17.
In the 10-minute and 25-second video, Johnson can often be seen watching his Facebook feed, counting the number of views. He said "we live, baby, we live." He also asked in a much more crude manner how much the victim will charge to perform oral sex, “ . . . $20? $10? $15?”
At one point, he emerged shirtless from the bathroom, where the assault occurred, and walked into the den. There are other people in the den, at least three young women and two young men.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, Hudson held the victim, who was not identified, while Johnson sexually assaulted her. In the video, Haleigh Hudson started beating the victim, who was sobbing appeared terrified, after Johnson encouraged her to, and said "What y’all going to do? My viewers, they want to see some action, my n - - - - h.”
Near the end of the video, the victim stood, with her backpack, and walked toward the door. She said "leave me alone", then "stop". Hudson walked to the door and stood in front of her, and the victim went and sat back down.
During the video, Hudson is seen making out with one of the young men who was present.
Haleigh Hudson is a former employee of the South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach, which is a facility for the developmentally disabled. David Shumate, assistant director, said that he didn't know why Hudson no longer works there, or if the victim has any connection to the facility.
After Facebook removed the original video, which was filmed at Hudson's home, a viewer posted a copy, and said he was trying to help the victim identify the person who assaulted her. There were 48,000 views of the copied video.
Johnson noted that one viewer of the video had posted in the comments about how the victim, who is black, didn't fight back when Hudson, who is white, assaulted her. In the comments, the unidentified viewer said, "That black girl wasn’t even fighting back. She gets no ‘cool points.’"
Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said, “Once again, we are witnessing the dark side of social media. However, I can't help but be disturbed by the incredible numbers of shares and views of this crude and despicable event . . . It speaks loudly about our culture." He said, "We videotape pain and suffering, then we share it and then we view it over and over.”
He said that the victim is 23, and that additional charges of abusing a vulnerable adult might apply if the victim is mentally handicapped. He also said that "additional arrests are expected."
Hudson turned herself in to police about 7 PM on Wednesday, July 12. She is charged with felony kidnapping and sexual assault, and is in the Harrison County Jail under $400,000 bond. Johnson was arrested on Wednesday about 8 PM. He is charged with felony kidnapping and is in jail under $200,000 bond.
A third suspect, Kadari Fabien Booker, was arrested about 10:44 PM on Wednesday on charges of felony kidnapping and sexual assault. He is also at the Harrison County Jail.