The father of an 8-year-old Liberian girl who was allegedly raped by four boys in a Phoenix apartment complex says he wants his daughter back with her family.
Child Protective Services took custody of the girl after police said her parents blamed her for the July 16 assault and didn't want her anymore.
The father, who is not being named to protect the girl's identity, denies saying that his daughter had brought shame to the family.
"That is not true," he said.
The father was meeting with child welfare officials Monday and was being accompanied by the family's pastor.
"We are trying to conduct our own investigation to be able to put things together," said Pastor James Nyemah. Nyemah said community officials also want to find out if there was any miscommunication between authorities and the girl's father.
Prosecutors have charged a 14-year-old Liberian refugee as an adult. Three other boys — ages 9, 10 and 13 — have been charged in juvenile court.
Police said the boys lured the girl to an empty storage shed with the promise of chewing gum. Then they restrained her while taking turns assaulting her.
The incident ignited an international outcry, including comments from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.