Image: Michael Sykes
Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.
Michael Sykes, 19, was charged Wednesday with six felonies, including kidnapping for rape. staff and news service reports
updated 3/31/2011 8:33:17 AM ET 2011-03-31T12:33:17

Prosecutors in southern California are seeking to try four teenage boys as adults in the alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in a park bathroom.

Each teen was charged Wednesday with four felonies in juvenile court, including rape and sodomy against a child under 14, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

Prosecutors said the youths should be tried as adults due to the severity of the crimes.

"Our office believes the evidence in this case shows these defendants took extreme advantage of a very vulnerable victim and committed a horrible series of crimes against the victim," the district attorney's spokesman, John Hall, told the Press-Enterprise.

"We believe they need to be held accountable for their actions in adult court and not in the juvenile arena."

A Riverside Juvenile Court judge will rule on that motion during a hearing Monday.

Police identified the boys as members of a gang called South Side Mafia, the Press-Enterprise said.

Prosecutors said an older girl lured the victim into a Moreno Valley park bathroom so she could be raped. The attack occurred between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on March 10, but it wasn't made public until Sunday .

The lone adult suspect, 19-year-old Michael Sykes, was charged Wednesday with six felonies, including kidnapping for rape.

During the hearing Wednesday Sykes reportedly asked a judge: "What if I'm guilty, but not all the way guilty?" The judge said he should have "the proper representation to make these decisions."

A public defender had requested that his arraignment be postponed so that he could have an attorney, the Press-Enterprise reported. It was delayed until April 13.

Sykes reportedly asked the judge if he could could give his mother, who was sitting in the courtroom crying, one last hug. The judge denied his request.

The Associated Press and staff contributed to this report.