Trial date set for ringleader of child's gang rape

Sykes accused of leading group of teens in 11-year-old's rape

Erik Sandoval, iReporter & Digital Content Director, esandoval@kesq.com
POSTED: 01:50 PM PDT Jun 08, 2012 
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MORENO VALLEY, Calif. -

A June 25 trial date was confirmed today for a Moreno Valley gang member who allegedly led a group of teenagers in sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in a  public bathroom.

Michael Bobby Devon Sykes 20, could face multiple life sentences if convicted in the March 10, 2011, attack at Victoriano Park.

He's charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count each of criminal street gang activity and conspiracy, as well as multiple sentence-enhancing allegations of kidnapping to commit rape, committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang and having prior convictions for rape.

Two boys, Johntae Dixon and Dominque Hull, are being tried separately as  adults.

Sykes appeared with his public defender today before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan, who set a trial date after hearing from the prosecution and defense.

The defendant remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to sheriff's investigators, Sykes and seven teenage members of the South Side Mafia street gang allegedly corralled the victim, who is reportedly developmentally disabled, in a bathroom at Victoriano Park, near Los Cabos Drive and Iris Avenue.
Several of the gang members allegedly took turns assaulting her, recording parts of the attack on their mobile phones.

The juveniles were arrested shortly afterward. Sykes remained at large for almost three weeks until detectives located and arrested him without incident.

His co-defendants are being held at Riverside Juvenile Hall.