JOHANNESBURG - Seven young men appeared in a South African court on Thursday to face charges of gang-raping a mentally handicapped teenage girl and recording the act on a cell-phone video that then went viral.

The case touched a raw nerve in a country where an average of 181 people a day are raped or sexually assaulted.

The accused range in age from 14 to 20 and are suspected of holding the girl as a sex slave in a Soweto township residence, filming the rapes with a mobile phone and offering her coins to keep quiet.

The 17-year-old girl, who went missing a few weeks ago, was found by police on Wednesday in the home of a 37-year-old man, who has also been arrested. Police have not revealed the identities of any involved due to the nature of the crime.

The hearing was postponed and will resume next week.

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