RIVERSIDE – A Moreno Valley gang member who led a group of teenagers in sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in a public bathroom pleaded guilty today to rape and other felonies.
Michael Bobby Devon Sykes 21, was originally charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count each of gang activity, conspiracy and lewd acts on a child, with multiple sentence-enhancing allegations — including kidnapping a victim to commit rape — in connection with a March 10, 2011, attack at Victoriano Park in Moreno Valley.
During a status hearing today before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michele Levine, the District Attorney’s Office filed an amended complaint charging Sykes with forcible rape, sodomy and lewd acts on a child, dropping the balance of the felony counts in exchange for Sykes’ guilty plea.
Had he been convicted of the original charges and enhancements, Sykes would have faced multiple life sentences. It wasn’t immediately clear what his time behind bars will be under the amended complaint.
Levine did not set a sentencing date, though another hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday to review Sykes’ potential time-served credits. He remains held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Three juveniles charged separately in the case are awaiting trial.
According to sheriff’s investigators, on the night of the alleged attack, Sykes and seven teenage members of the South Side Mafia street gang corralled the developmentally disabled victim in a park bathroom, near Los Cabos Drive and Iris Avenue.
Several of the assailants allegedly took turns raping the child over an undisclosed period of time, recording parts of the attack on their cellphones.
The juveniles were arrested within a few days. Sykes remained at large for almost three weeks until detectives located and arrested him.