Erica Avery and four other teens reportedly took part in a vicious sexual assault on a former friend. The incident was captured on film, and in the footage, Avery and Patricia Montes appear to be standing over the half-naked, weeping victim as she struggled to free herself from her attackers.
Prior to holding the girl down so Jayvon Woolfork could reportedly rape her, Avery and Montes are accused of kicking, punching and pepper spraying the girl. Lanel Singleton, who filmed the alleged rape, and Dwight Henry, were also charged with crimes stemming from the incident.
All the teens involved were charged with various crimes, and a little over a month after she was released on bail pending her trial, Avery found her way back to jail for allegedly violating the conditions of her pre-trial release by accessing the Internet. Pictures of Avery were reportedly posted to social media, and one of them appears to show the teen holding a smartphone in her hand. Despite claims that Avery sent a threatening message to the victim while out on bail, her lawyer says those accusations are false and blames the threatening messages on Avery’s sister.
“My client has assured me that at no point in time did she access the Internet,” Michael D. Weinstein, Avery’s lawyer, said. “How is she supposed to control what her sister did? There’s not going to be any testimony, to my knowledge, that my client posted those pictures or sent that message.”
Montes has since entered a plea of no contest to the charges against her, and because she was still 17, she was sentenced to four years in prison followed by two years of probation. As part of the deal, Montes agreed to testify against the other defendants.
Erica Avery, being 17 at the time, entered a guilty plea to two counts of sexual battery and one count of kidnapping. Broward Circuit Judge Lisa Porter sentenced her to four years in prison as a youthful offender and two years of probation with credit given for having served 490 days.
Avery was charged with the crimes as an adult, and was told she violated her probation, she would lose her youthful offender status and face a maximum of 30 years for each sexual battery charge. Kidnapping carries a life sentence, but Avery would not face that sentence because she was a minor at the time of the attack.
Avery’s guilty plea short-circuited a scheduled hearing to determine whether she should have her bond revoked. Prosecutors accused her of violating the conditions of her pre-trial release by accessing the Internet and having her sister send a vulgar message to the victim using the social networking site Instagram.
Prosecutor Maria Schneider read the message to Judge Porter. “Bitch, you got beat up, not raped,” the message said, according to Schneider.
Avery’s lawyer, Michael D. Weinstein, said his client did not ask her sister to send the message and she knew that contacting the victim would land her back in jail.
Porter said the discussion was irrelevant in light of Avery’s plea. “She’s going to prison today,” Porter said.
Outside the courtroom, Avery’s 24-year-old sister, who identified herself only as Kristi, admitted sending the message but said Avery had nothing to do with it.
“I felt a need to defend my sister,” Kristi said. “I didn’t know it would get her in trouble.”