Police say the investigation began on Monday when they were tipped off that a male was lying in a snow bank behind an apartment building on the 1600 block of Juniper Street, a rough neighbourhood in the city of Prince George.
The unconscious youth was taken to hospital, where it was determined he had been physically and sexually assaulted. Police then also learned that a second youth had also been assaulted.
Facing charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement are:
- Hayden Lee Alwood, 18
- Mercedes Rae Jewett, 20
- Two male youths, both 17
- One female youth, 15
- One male youth, 15
The four youths involved cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
"We want to thank the public for providing information," said Prince George RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass.
"Investigators have received several tips since our first media release," he said. "This investigation remains a priority for the Prince George RCMP and every tip will be followed up."
Douglass called it one of the most disturbing investigations he's seen in his career.
"It's disturbing in that regard that our youth might be capable of doing something this terrible," he said.
Police believe the group targeted their victims and lured them to the apartment building where they were assaulted, although he could not say how the youth was lured.
"Investigators have some idea, and again that's something we have to protect the integrity of the investigation and save that for court,” Douglass said.
One of the suspects, 20-year-old Mercedes Rae Jewett, will appear in court on Friday. All other suspects have been remanded in custody until Jan. 16, 2013.