Quantcast

Alleged gang leader behind bars after accusations of child rape - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Alleged gang leader behind bars after accusations of child rape

Posted: Updated:
James Manning James Manning
Chief Tim Bombardier Chief Tim Bombardier
BARRE, Vt. -

His teenage followers call him "Rabbit." Police say James Manning, 21, is the ringleader behind a homegrown gang called the Brotherhood Mafia. The Barre man allegedly recruited kids as young as 14 to do his bidding, slashing tires, selling drugs and tagging buildings around town.

"Those were done under the guise of being part of the gang, being part of the family," Barre City Police Chief Tim Bombardier said.

The boys told police Manning and his roommate Hank Jones gave them a list of arson jobs to carry out, including setting wood chips ablaze outside St. Monica School and using Molotov cocktails to burn down a garage on Third Street.

"Definitely it's manipulation," Bombardier said. "You bring somebody in and you start out with minor criminal acts. Now you have something over their head."

Kids were allegedly initiated into this gang in different ways. One boy told police Manning drove him to a soccer field and hit him in the head with a baseball bat, knocking him out for five minutes. Others told police Manning raped them while other the gang members watched.

"Some gang initiations are beat downs for lack of a better term," Bombardier said. "You don't see adults on juveniles, same-sex assaults. That was disturbing."

According to court papers, most of the rapes happened inside the Harrington Avenue apartment house where Manning lived. Neighbors say there was a constant stream of teenagers milling about.

"I'm nervous for even having my children play outside," neighbor Melissa Berry said.

One boy who was allegedly forced to watch a rape initiation told police "it lasted for about an hour" while the 14-year-old victim was "crying his eyes out." Police say Manning groomed kids, luring them into his gang for his own sexual gratification, allegedly assaulting at least three other children multiple times.

"That's not something we've ever seen before," Bombardier said.

In January, Manning was arrested and charged with two counts of sex assault on minors. He denied the allegations. But police say the case is far from closed.

"This coming out has opened people's eyes," Bombardier said. "It's making some people keep better track with what's going on with kids."

"Knowing that there's some older man out there, next door, doing something to younger kids is scary," Berry said.

Manning is being held on $75,000 bail. He'll be back in court next week. If convicted he faces up to 40 years in prison.

Police say as this investigation unfolds, there will likely more arrests and citations issued to both adults and juveniles involved.

Police couldn't tell me whether Manning is a native Vermonter. They say while questioning him he became emotional and threatened to kill himself. Manning also told police he started the Brotherhood Mafia as a group for troubled kids who needed someone to talk to. He denies it's a gang and calls it a "family" that he started in Burlington, moved to Rutland in 2011 and finally to Barre.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.