A 6-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by five other youngsters, ages 8 to 14, police said.

Four boys - ages 8, 11, 13, and 14 - and a 12-year-old girl were arrested Wednesday. They pleaded not guilty in Juvenile Court on Thursday.The children raped the girl numerous times at different locations over the summer, Sgt. Dave Van Pelt said.

"The children did know the gravity of the situation. They knew what they were doing," Van Pelt said. "This was not a childhood prank. We are treating this as a sexual assault."

Under state law, children 12 and older can be held in a juvenile detention center until they turn 21. Children under 12 can't be sent to a detention center and are usually placed in long-term foster care.

The girl was visiting the area and was friends with at least one of the children, Van Pelt said. She eventually told relatives of the attacks.

The children were released to the custody of their parents under home arrest.