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Alleged teen rape victim released from custody, but with GPS monitor

April 16, 2012 |  3:54 pm

A 17-year-old alleged rape victim who was placed in juvenile hall to ensure she would testify was released from custody Monday, a week before she is expected to take the stand in Sacramento.

News 10 in the state capital reported that the teen will be released with GPS monitoring to ensure she does not flee before the April 23 trail. The Associated Press reported that the girl, a key witness, has a history of running away from her foster home.

The teen is slated to testify against defendant Frank Rackley Sr., 37, who prosecutors say abducted and raped her in July.

Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown apologized to the girl Monday, saying she showed "great courage" throughout the ordeal, the Sacramento Bee reported. The paper said Brown had ordered the girl jailed last month after she failed to appear at both Rackley's preliminary hearing and trial.

As a result, prosecutors were forced to drop charges against Rackley in February, but the charges have since been refiled.

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-- Matt Stevens

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Parents of slain USC students visit crime scene, meet with police

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The parents of two USC graduate students from China killed near the university visited the scene of the crime Sunday evening and are meeting with detectives Monday to discuss the horrific events, police said.

Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the parents and relatives of Ming Qu and Ying Wu, both 23, flew in from China and have been to the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue. They were scheduled to meet with detectives Monday to discuss what investigators know at this stage in the slayings. USC has offered a $125,000 reward.

PHOTOS: USC shaken by shooting deaths of two students

The electronic engineering students were sitting in a 2003 BMW around 1 a.m. last Wednesday when a gunman came up and shot two or three times into the driver's side. The two had been chatting, with the car double parked. Property belonging to the two students was missing, leading investigators to suspect that robbery may have been the motive for the crime. Three neighbors heard the gunshots and called 911. Shortly after the shooting, a witness saw a person in dark clothing running from the scene, according to Deputy Chief Pat Gannon.

Gannon said a dark-colored car, possibly an American model, pulled away right after the shots were fired. After reviewing surveillance footage from the video cameras in the area, the LAPD has identified 75 vehicles that fit the description of the dark car. Gannon said detectives are chasing down the ownership of each of the vehicles.

The students had been studying before the attack. Qu drove Wu to the house where she was renting a room. He parked in front of the home, while Wu went briefly inside to change her clothes. She went back outside and the two continued talking in the car. After the shooting, Qu attempted to run for hel, but collapsed on a nearby porch with a gunshot wound to the head, Gannon said. Wu was found slumped over inside the vehicle.

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