Imprisonment suspect waives hearing

Genaya Lee on Monday waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Philadelphia Municipal Court on charges that she participated with three others to lure a 20-year-old Pittsburgh woman to North Philadelphia through an Internet chat line in February. The woman was allegedly held her against her will, sexually assaulted, beaten and set afire before being put on a bus back to Western Pennsylvania.

The case against Lee, 20, of North Philadelphia, now moves toward trial on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, conspiracy, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment although prosecution and defense lawyers have said they hope to resolve the case through a guilty plea.

Lee, who was arrested July 14, remains in custody in lieu of $750,000 bail.

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 last 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.

Continue Reading