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Boy accused of rape in New Jersey stuck in detention center

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

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