Judge Franz Zibilich is allowing each defendant -- Christopher Davis, 18, Joseph Davis, 17, and Sheldon Jefferson, 16 -- to be tried separately back-to-back so that attorneys for two of them could cross-examine Jefferson, who police said identified the other defendants. Prosecutors have said that all three were linked to the crime by DNA evidence.
Prosecutors say two of the three teenagers approached a 30-year-old woman on Feb. 4 as she walked from her car to her home on Eighth Street. She was forced at gunpoint into a nearby car that authorities say was driven by Christopher Davis. They then drove her around for an hour, with Jefferson and Joseph Davis -- suspected of wielding a pistol -- sexually assaulting her, authorities say. They are also accused of stopping by ATMs to force her to withdraw cash.
Authorities say her attackers then took her back to her block, stole her car and pushed her out of a moving vehicle. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she was treated for cuts, bruises and scratches.
Jefferson, who was 15 at the time, was the first to surrender to police after his mother saw his image on a video authorities distributed from one of the ATMs.
During his interview with police, Jefferson said he and Joseph Davis raped the woman while Christopher Davis drove, Assistant District Attorneys Donald Cassels III and Jason Napoli wrote in a court filing.