(CBS/KHOU) LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas - Four young men accused in an alleged gang-rape of an 11-year-old Cleveland, Texas girl have appeared before a judge.
So far, well over a dozen suspects have been arrested in the case, some of whom are juveniles and students.
Investigators believe there could be even more suspects.
"I've heard as many as 28 or more. The case now has 16, 17 people who have been arrested," defense attorney James Evans III told CBS affiliate KHOU.
Evans represents four of the accused.
"It's a tragic situation, as we all have come to realize. The families are dealing with it - it's a very stressful environment," Evans said.
Thew media were not allowed in the courtroom Monday, and the suspects' families declined to comment.
All four of the defendants who were in court - Marcus Porchia, Rayford Ellis, Isaiah Ross and Kelvin King - are pleading not guilty.
The charges came after the 11-year-old girl reported the alleged assault to her principal's office. She said it happened over the Thanksgiving holiday at an abandoned mobile home in Cleveland, a small city about 50 miles north of Houston.
Prosecutors also declined to comment Monday, but more court dates are scheduled for April.