Kingston police say they are investigating a possible sexual assault in Midtown. But city Police Chief Egidio Tinti said today that there is no truth to a racially charged rumor spread on social media that the incident involved the gang rape of a child.
The rumor began spreading on social media and by word of mouth over the weekend that a child was abducted near the corner of Prospect and Franklin streets, taken to a nearby house and raped. In differing versions, the victim is a boy or a girl. Most of the versions described the perpetrators as four “Mexican” or Latino males. By Monday morning the story was being repeated as fact — complete with graphic details of a medical exam of the victim — among a crowd of onlookers at the scene of a shooting incident downtown.
But Tinti said that the social media rumors bore no relation to the actual alleged incident. Tinti declined to provide details citing the ongoing investigation. But, he said, the incident did not involve a minor child.
“What’s on Facebook is not true,” said Tinti. “We are looking into an allegation that there was a sexual assault but whether it actually took place is something we’re still investigating.”