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Cops: Woman plotted armed burglary at family's Hammond home where stepsister was raped; mom reportedly witnesses assault on live feed

Cops: Woman plotted armed burglary at family's Hammond home where stepsister was raped; mom reportedly witnesses assault on live feed

CROWN POINT — A 19-year-old woman is accused of helping her boyfriend and his two friends break into her family's home in Hammond, where the burglars allegedly raped the woman's stepsister, authorities said. The mother of the victim said she witnessed the sexual assault on a live camera feed, court records state.

Alexis M. Lietz was charged Wednesday in Lake Criminal Court with burglary with a deadly weapon and armed robbery on allegations she conspired with her boyfriend, Elias J. Costello, and two accomplices, Nathaniel J. Asbury and a 16-year-old boy, to rob her parents' home.

Asbury, 21, and the juvenile allegedly raped Lietz's 19-year-old stepsister at gunpoint during the burglary. Costello, 18, is accused of holding down the woman and groping her during the assault.

Hammond police were dispatched at 9:48 a.m. Monday to a residence in the 3000 block of Crane Place after receiving reports of a home invasion, court records state.

Officers surrounded the house and found Lietz sitting in a vehicle. Lietz's stepsister came running from the home followed by Asbury, who was arrested a short distance from the scene after hopping a neighbor's fence.

The juvenile fled the home and was found by a K-9 officer hiding in a neighbor's yard, police said. They found Costello cowering under blankets in the home's basement.

The female victim told officers she was asleep on the living room couch when she heard someone trying to open the door, police said. She said she assumed it was her stepsister, so she went back to sleep. She said she was then awoken by men wearing gloves and ski masks, one of whom, armed with a shotgun, ordered her to lay face down on the couch, records state.

She said the men ransacked the house, and the man holding the shotgun ordered her to remove her clothing. She said two of the burglars then raped her, records state.

The victim's mother first reported the burglary. She told detectives her son called and said someone tried breaking down his bedroom door. She said she looked at a live camera feed she had installed in her living room and witnessed the burglars sexually assaulting her daughter, records state.

The juvenile declined to provide a statement to police, but the other defendants confessed to their roles in the burglary and sexual assault, records state.

Lietz said she drew out a map of the home, which detailed the location of cameras, TVs, jewelry and money. She said she wanted the money to help get custody of her child, records state.

Asbury is charged with two counts of rape, burglary, armed robbery, criminal confinement, intimidation, pointing a firearm and resisting law enforcement.

Costello is charged with rape, burglary, armed robbery, criminal confinement and sexual battery.

Hammond police Lt. Steven Kellogg said Wednesday the 16-year-old boy faces charges in Lake County Juvenile Court.

Lietz, Asbury and Costello are each jailed on $125,000 surety bonds, court records state.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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