Three Mississippi teens are accused in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman with special needs in Gulfport after a disturbing Facebook Live video of the incident went viral on Wednesday.
Charges have been filed against Haleigh “Alexis” Hudson, 19, Ezzie Johnson, 17, and Kadari Booker, 17, Gulfport Police said.
The original video was posted Tuesday, but has since been deleted, along with Hudson’s Facebook page. A version of the video was posted Wednesday as members of the community tried to raise awareness about the case.
“Gulfport police told this girl there was nothing they could do for her because they were all intoxicated! She is special needs and was set up to be sexually abused, beat and held against her will! They have since took the post down! His name is Ezzie Johnson and the girls name is Alexis Hudson,” Tiffany Hailey wrote on Facebook.
The victim in the case is about 23 and is from Biloxi, according to police. She is an “associate” of Hudson and Johnson, police said.
Police said they received several calls about the video and were investigating throughout the day Wednesday, leading to the warrants being issued.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Video Shows a Woman Assaulting the Victim After Others Try to Get Her to Perform Oral Sex on Camera for the Facebook Views
Gulfport Police say the incident was recorded with a cell phone camera and streamed live on Facebook. While it has since been deleted, copies of it remain on the internet, the Clarion-Ledger reports.
In one part of the video, a woman, identified as Alexis Hudson, can be seen standing over the victim while she sits on the couch. The victim is asked if she is ready to fight, and Hudson then begins striking her, before dragging her off the couch
You can watch that part of the disturbing video below:
You can watch the full 15-minute video below. The video was recorded by Tiffany Hailey on her cell phone as it played live on another cell phone.
“The vicim herself asked me to record this and post it due to the fact that she had no evidence against them. (Besides this deleted video) and the police told her they couldn’t do anything because they were intoxicated,” Hailey wrote on Facebook .”(They didn’t enough facts on scene) I DO very much appreciate whichever police officer did call her back in for a full, more (thorough) interview. I still stand by my original post! If this wouldn’t have gotten so much attention i don’t know if anything would have been proven or even been able to be done about it! I only relayed the message the victim asked me to, for JUSTICE!”
Heavy has removed the video from the beginning of the video, which shows nudity:
The video begins in a bathroom with the victim kneeling on the ground with her head between a man’s legs, with his penis exposed. A man can be heard saying, “suck that d*ck. suck the d*ck, suck it. Ass crack showing and sh*t,” while other chatter can be heard in the background. A woman’s voice can be heard saying, “slut.”
The man recording the video then begins talking to the camera about how his friend is “getting his d*ck sucked,” while laughing with others about it. The victim then appears to lock herself in the bathroom and a woman tries to get her to open the door.
“Y’all stay tuned, they’re gonna fight,” the man says into the camera. The victim then leaves the bathroom as the others in the apartment start making fun of her, with references to oral sex, asking if she wants more. A woman who is in the room, not Hudson, can be heard at one point telling the others to leave the victim alone.
The man filming the video says at one point, “70 viewers, we live!”
He then invites those watching to come to the house for oral sex, and asks how the victim how much she would charge it. “She’ll do it for the $10,” a woman, believed to be Hudson says, adding, “if she do it in my house she got to split it down the middle.”
At one point, the man recording the video says that they need more action so they can get more viewers, again asking the victim to perform oral sex for those watching. He then asks the victim if she wants to go home, and she says yes.
“She ain’t going home,” a woman says. “She knows what the business is. She’s going to suck some d*ck til her throat swell up.”
Police said they believe alcohol was involved in the incident. While the victim’s friends say she has special needs, police said they have not yet confirmed that.
Hailey said she recorded the video after realizing the suspects had deleted it.
“I’m looking at the time date and stamp on it and this is happening right now. You see it escalating,” she told the Clarion-Ledger. “This is gut wrenchingly horrific. It’s really, really, bad.”
2. The Video Was Posted on Johnson’s Facebook Account, Police Say
Gulfport Police said the video was originally posted to Ezzie Johnson’s Facebook page. “Johnson is actually the one who memorialized these criminal acts by videotaping and distributing on Facebook live,” Chief Leonard Papania said at a press conference.
“Once again we are witnessing the dark side of social media,” he said at the press conference. “These warrants demonstrate our belief about these three individuals and their criminal acts, however, I can’t help but be disturbed by the incredible number of shares and views of this crude and despicable event. Not too long ago, we were up to 1,100 shares of that video and I think we’re around 48,000 views. It speaks loudly about our culture.”
The officers were called to the 3100 block of 7th Avenue to a home that is believed to be where Hudson lives, about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday night after learning about the Facebook Live video. After an investigation into the allegations of assault, charges were filed against Alexis Hudson and Ezzie Johnson on Wednesday.
Papania said “social media is certainly changing our lives. … The commentary on social media about this event is also an indictment on our culture. We in law enforcement are the only ones holding on to doing things properly and not quickly. These are criminal acts that require that we properly investigate and collect evidence. We will find and arrest the accused and we will work to ensure that justice is ensued while being attentive to the rights of everybody. Justice, proper justice, established by our constitution takes time. We will continue to work at the speed of proper police work and we will not try to work at the speed of Facebook.
“Viral videos just last for the moment until everyone goes on to some other stupid video,” Papania said. “There’s a victim in this case, it is important that we ensure that our criminal justice system protects that victim and seeks proper justice. I wish people would look at just how warped our society has become. We videotape pain and suffering, then we share it and we view it, over and over. And I don’t doubt this story will be dead in two days and everybody moves on to something else and you still have the victim of the crime.”
3. Hudson Worked as a Certified Nurses Aide, Her Facebook Page Says
Alexis Hudson worked as a certified nurse aide and as a certified nursing assistant at a retirement community in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and at a nursing home in Pass Christian.
Social media users posted on Facebook on Wednesday that they had called Hudson’s employer and were told she was no longer working there.
Police said they executed a warrant on the location where the incident took place, and they believe it is Hudson’s residence.
Hudson is being held on $400,000 bail at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center, WLOX-TV reports.
4. Johnson & Booker Are Both Being Charged as Adults Despite Their Age
Ezzie Johnson says on his Facebook page that he lives in Tampa, Florida, but is originally from Gulfport.
Johnson went to Harrison Central High School in Gulfport.
Kadari Booker is originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and went to school in Ocean Springs, where he now lives, and Pascagoula High School, according to his Facebook page, which is under the name “Finesse Kidd.”
Booker and Johnson are both being charged as an adults, despite being 17, police said. Johnson was being held on $200,000 bail at the Hamilton County jail, WLOX-TV reports. Booker’s bail was set at $500,000.
5. The Suspects Are Facing Felony Kidnapping Charges, While Hudson & Booker Are Also Charged With Sexual Battery
Haleigh Alexis Hudson and Ezzie Lee Johnson are both facing felony charges of kidnapping, police announced at a Wednesday press conference. Hudson and Booker are also charged with felony sexual battery
You can watch the full police press conference below:
Police said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected. Additional charges could also be brought against Johnson and Hudson.
“We are also evaluating the actions of other people present in order to determine if other charges will be forthcoming and I can tell you with certainty there will be,” Chief Leonard Papania said at a press conference.
Anyone with information is asked to call Gulfport Police at 228-868-5959 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.
Papania said he applauds the members of the community who have given them information so far, including people with direct knowledge.
“Our phones have rang off the hook,” he said. “Not people being voyeurs, but people trying to help us in this criminal investigation, and we’re going to be moving forward as that information continues to unfold.”