TRENTON, N.J. - Rowan Tower has a bad reputation. Gangs walk the streets nearby, and police are a constant, and some say ineffective, presence at the 15-story apartment building a stone's throw from the Statehouse's golden dome.
A 13-year-old girl was killed last year in a drive-by shooting a block away, and not a single person stepped forward to help police identify the attackers. This week, though, the mothers, grandmothers and children who live in the tower saw crime there sink to a new depth.
The reported gang rape of a 7-year-old girl who police say was offered for sale by her 15-year-old stepsister to a group of grown men has shocked residents and put them in a quandary. If they identify the men responsible, they risk violent retaliation from the street gangs that stalk the neighborhood.
"We are mothers," said tenant Shawntel Abner. "If we aren't here, there is no one to w
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