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Mother Charged Under Anti-Gang Law

May 2, 1989

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A woman who kept snapshots of her children posing with guns and whose son is accused in a gang rape is the first person charged under a new anti-gang law targeting parents who fail to control their children.

Gloria Williams, whose 15-year-old son is accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, was charged Monday under a misdemeanor law added to the books last year. She faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted.

″Attacking the gang problem at its roots - in the home and at an earlier age - is crucial to battling this cancer in our society,″ City Attorney James Hahn said.

More than 350 people were killed in gang-related violence in Los Angeles County last year.

Hahn alleged that Ms. Williams was ″actively involved in her son’s gang.″

Ms. Williams, 37, was arrested Friday at her home in south-central Los Angeles and was freed on $20,000 bail.

Her son, a reputed gang member called Popeye, whose real name was not released, was arrested for investigation of the rape last month of the 12- year-old girl. The child told police she was raped by gang members at various ″safe houses″ over four days, Hahn said.

The son is on probation for auto theft and had previous arrests for investigation of burglary and receiving stolen property, police said.

″All I can say is that they are wrong. My son is not in a gang,″ Ms. Williams said Monday. ″The police keep putting this on him, but it is not true.″

Police who searched the Williams home found gang graffiti scrawled on walls. Two photograph albums portrayed Ms. Williams with youths who wore gang clothing and flashed gang signs, Hahn said.

″It looked like the headquarters for the local gang,″ said Robert Ferber of the city attorney’s gang unit.

Other photographs showed the 15-year-old son with a rifle, a 4-year-old son pointing a pistol at the camera, and Ms. William’s 19-year-old daughter posing with an automatic pistol pointed at a child’s head, police said.

Monday night, a reputed gang member was critically wounded by shots fired from a passing car, said police Sgt. Ray Heslop.

Murder charges were filed Monday against a 15-year-old boy arrested in the shooting death last week of a 16-year-old boy, apparently killed because his blue cap matched the colors of a rival gang.

Update hourly