It's not easy to watch juveniles get caught up in the criminal justice
system. But it happens, and then it is important for the system to protect
them to the best of its ability. The defense attorney for a 15-year-old
boy accused of aggravated
sexual assault in New Jersey is fighting for the teen.
The boy isn't alone in being accused of the sex crime. A boy just one
year older than him is also charged and in custody of a juvenile detention
center. Though juvenile detention centers aren't prison, they are
still serious business, and the 15-year-old's attorney argues that
the boy should be released until the case has gone further.
Both boys are charged with the sex offense as the result of an alleged
incident with another minor. The criminal case alleges that a sexual assault
took place when a 15-year-old girl was under the influence of alcohol.
Because he believes that there is currently little evidence that the younger
defendant was as responsible for the incident as the other juvenile, the
15-year-old's attorney asked a judge to send him home.
That request was denied. As with rape cases with adult defendants, the
New Jersey system is taking these charges seriously. A sex assault conviction
would mean a huge shadow over a juvenile's future, which is why it
is so important for a young defendant to have an attorney who understands
that and, therefore, is able to put up a vigilant defense.
The young defendant's attorney argues that the court can't prove
that the supposed victim was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Authorities reportedly didn't check her blood alcohol level until
hours after the alleged assault took place.
Source: The Star-Ledger, "Attorney for N.J. teen accused in rape case pushes for his release from
detention center," Ben Horowitz, Oct. 4, 2012