BEIRUT — Several members of the family of Lynn Taleb — the 5-year-old girl who died earlier this summer after sexual assault — were questioned on Tuesday, revealing new chilling details in the case.
Lynn's maternal side of the family continues to deny the charges brought against them, according to a high-ranking judicial source contacted by L'Orient-Le Jour.
During Tuesday's hearing, investigating Judge Samaranda Nassar confronted Lynn's mother, Waad Bou Khalil, and maternal uncle, who is suspected of raping the young girl while she was staying with her maternal grandparents in Minieh, North Lebanon.
The judge asked Bou Khalil if she had a question to ask her brother, said the judicial source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Bou Khalil then asked her brother if he had raped Lynn Taleb, which he denied. The mother reportedly said she believed him.
Lynn's stay with her maternal grandparents took place over the Eid al-Adha holiday, a period during which the assaults allegedly took place. The family took the young girl to the emergency room on the night she died after they initially refused to hospitalize her.
Arrest warrants were initially issued for the child's mother and maternal grandfather, Fawaz Bou Khalil. Authorities later arrested Lynn's maternal grandmother and uncle.
The uncle is charged with rape and intentional crime, while the other family members are accused of concealing information, as well as voluntary manslaughter for delaying the child's hospitalization before her death.
Bruises and hematomas
According to the judicial source, a forensic report indicated that the child was likely violently raped once, rather than multiple times as previously suspected. The young girl also had a dislocated arm, a swollen mouth, and was suffering from anemia. She died June 29.
Photos of Lynn, taken on the uncle's phone on June 24, show her smiling and in apparent health, according to the judicial source. The forensic examiner who examined the bruises and hematomas on the girl's body, told L'Orient-Le Jour that he believes that the rape occurred on June 25. Scratches were reportedly found on the uncle's neck.
According to the medical report, reviewed by L'Orient-Le Jour, young Lynn developed a serious infection after the rape, which led to her death. She did not eat or drink anything for several days prior to her death and was reportedly vomiting.
At 4 p.m. on June 29, Lynn vomited blood but it was not until 7:30 p.m. when she was already dead that she was taken to the hospital by her mother's paternal uncle and his wife, according to the judicial source. The girl's temperature was so high that, by the time her death was confirmed at the hospital, it still showed 40.5 degrees.
The family continues to deny fault
Judge Samaranda Nassar is expected to hear further testimony on Thursday. from a member of security forces who allegedly tried to help the family cover up the case, according to the same judicial source.
During Tuesday's hearing, the source said Lynn's mother did not seem shaken by the violent details of the case.
If found guilty, the uncle, mother and grandparents could be sentenced to 15 years to life imprisonment, explained a lawyer who wished to remain anonymous.
Rape is punishable by 10 years in prison, but in this case, the rapist could also be prosecuted for intentional homicide.