Fourth adult charged in North Phila. imprisonment-torture

A fourth adult has been charged in the case of a Pittsburgh woman authorities say was lured to North Philadelphia through an Internet chat line in February, held against her will, sexually assaulted and beaten and then set afire before being put on a bus back to Western Pennsylvania.

Genaya Lee, 20, of North Philadelphia, has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, conspiracy, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment in the alleged incident involving the unnamed 20-year-old Pittsburgh woman.

Lee, arrested July 14 and being held in lieu of $750,000 bail, was scheduled for as preliminary hearing Monday before Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Karen Yvette Simmons. Simmons granted a joint request for a delay to Aug. 27 by Assistant District Attorney Joseph McGlynn and defense lawyer Richard J. Fuschino Jr., who said he was just appointed as Lee’s lawyer.

McGlynn and Fuschino both said they hoped to resolve the case against Lee through a guilty plea rather than trial.

In mid-March, three adults were arrested and charged in the alleged assault: Tamara Rhoades, 24; her husband Michael Rhoades, 36; and Steven Mills, 22. Also charged was a 14-year-old identified by authorities as a Rhoades relative. Michael Rhoades and Mills waived their right to a preliminary hearing earlier this month; Tamara Rhoades’ – the only of the four adults charged with sexual-assault counts -- was held for trial.

Authorities said the Pittsburgh woman was lured to Philadelphia with overtures for a sexual liaison made on a social media chat room. But once she arrived at the house in the 1200 block of North 23d Street, the woman was held against her will, assaulted and beaten and then set afire. The victim was able to extinguish the flames but was badly burned.

According to police, the defendants allegedly took the victim to a bus station and sent her back to Pittsburgh. The woman called police when she arrived home.

Although Lee was charged as one of the captors of the Pittsburgh woman, Fuschino said that she also had initially been held at the house against her will: “In some ways, she also was a victim.”

McGlynn said afterward that the Pittsburgh woman is considered a “vulnerable victim” because she has a learning disability.

Continue Reading