Prosecutors conducted a lengthy investigation and "determined that there was not enough evidence to pursue charges in this case," District Attorney Seth Williams' office announced in a written statement. "The office has a continuing obligation to seek the truth, and that did not stop with the arrest of these defendants."
The boys, who ranged in age from 14 to 15, were charged with raping the girl in a stairwell at the southwest Philadelphia recreation center the evening of July 16. They were on house arrest and had been scheduled to stand trial in September.
Prosecutors did not elaborate on why the charges were dropped.
The girl told police she was approached by several boys who started talking to her at the Francis Myers Recreation Center, then lured her to an upstairs stairwell and attacked her. A staff member at the busy rec center found the distraught girl in the third-floor staircase after a group of boys were seen running from the building.
A prosecutor told a Family Court judge on Friday that the district attorney's office would not seek to refile charges against the boys. The names of the boys and girl were not released because of their ages.
The popular neighborhood facility was hosting basketball and line dancing that night, and also has a drop-in game room, where the girl had spent time.