Rangel Lends Support to Teen Girl Facing Gun Charge

Saturday, Mar 5, 2011  |  Updated 12:00 PM EDT
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Rangel Lends Support to Teen Girl Facing Gun Charge

AP

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters before attending an emergency town hall meeting on the future status of Harlem Hospital in wake of announced budget cuts, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 in New York. Rangel says he still loves Congress, despite a showdown with colleagues over ethics violations that led to his recent censure. Speaking to reporters Saturday at an event in Harlem, the Democrat appeared confident and as defiant as ever about the allegations. He received his punishment Thursday on the House floor. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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A U.S. congressman is lending support to a teen girl accused of funneling guns to a New York City drug gang.

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel joined other members of his influential Harlem church Friday at a court hearing for 17-year-old Afrika Owes.

The teen was once a top student on a full scholarship at a prestigious Massachusetts prep school, but prosecutors say she fell under the influence of a boyfriend who led a violent street gang in her Harlem neighborhood.

She is charged with acting as a gun courier for the boyfriend while he was incarcerated.

Rangel and other members of the Abyssinian Baptist Church tried unsuccessfully to use $50,000 in church money to post bail for Owes.

The congressman told reporters after the hearing that even "the smartest kids in the world make poor judgments.''

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