Gang member agreed to testify against others.
A St. Paul teenager pleaded guilty on Thursday to being one of nine men and boys who allegedly conspired to rape a 14-year-old girl on the city's East Side in November.
Xou Yang, 17, also admitted in Ramsey County District Court to committing the act for the benefit of a gang.
Who was going to rape the girl, prosecutor Heidi Westby asked.
"Everybody," Yang replied.
Yang, a self-professed member of the True Blood 22 (TB22) street gang who goes by the nickname "Suki," accepted a plea agreement requiring him to be sentenced as an adult and to serve eight years in prison. He also agreed to testify against the others if they go to trial.
He is the second suspect to plead guilty to the Nov. 17 attack at an abandoned house on White Bear Avenue. The other suspect, who has not been named because he was 15 at the time of the incident, also has agreed to testify against the others. Unlike Yang, however, he will remain in the juvenile court system.
Yang testified on Thursday that three suspects -- Kong "OG" Vang, 38, Mang Yang, 24, and the then-15-year-old -- planned the assault at a party and then went to the White Bear Avenue house to rape the girl, who they had been plying with alcohol.
The girl was forced into a tiny, trash-filled room while the 15-year-old covered her mouth to stifle her screaming, Xou Yang said.
He said several suspects who were not at the first gathering showed up at the second for the specific purpose of raping the 14-year-old. The group scattered after Vang, the oldest of the suspects, yelled that police were coming, Yang said.
Westby asked if he believed Vang may have been trying to save the girl by alerting them to the possible presence of police.
No, Yang said, adding he believed Vang actually did think officers were on their way.
Vang and Mang Yang are among a group of adult suspects who are scheduled to appear on Sept. 14 before District Judge Gregg Johnson for motion hearings. One of the other adults, Vang Tou Ger Vue, 19, is alleged to have sexually penetrated the girl while others crowded around saying they were "next," authorities and witnesses say.
Each of the nine suspects were alleged to be members or associates of the TB22 gang.
Juvenile no more
Yang's guilty plea came during a proceeding that initially was set to determine whether he should stand trial as an adult. But he waived the right to the certification hearing and was then charged as an adult with a four-count criminal complaint.
As part of the plea deal, he admitted to the conspiracy and gang-related charges. The remaining counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping are to be dismissed -- provided he doesn't renege on his agreement to testify, Westby said.
Last Friday, Ramsey County District Judge Robert Awsumb issued an order in juvenile court certifying Jim Her, 17, to stand trial as an adult in the case.
Susan Scarborough, a public defender who represented Xou Yang on Thursday, declined to comment when asked if the guilty plea was inspired by Awsumb's order.
Next week, the last of the four original juvenile suspects, Shaileng Lor, 17, is scheduled to appear for an adult-certification hearing.
Yang is to be sentenced on Aug. 29 by District Judge Gail Chang Bohr.
Anthony Lonetree • 612-875-0041