Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Boys, Ages 11 and 14, Charged with Attempted Rape of 60-Year-Old Woman

Armed with a "rape kit," two boys, ages 11 and 14, broke into a 60-year-old woman's house. They wore gloves and bandanas to cover their faces. Two accomplices, a 15 year-old girl and 16 year-old boy stood outside as lookouts.
Austin Police Det. Scott Stanfield said it was the most unusual sexual assault case he's investigated because of the ages of the suspects and the sophistication and deception involved. Some of the suspects whom police interviewed were able to "lie without emotion," he said. [1]
One of the boys attempted to sexually assault the woman but stopped when her heart device was triggered.

Both boys have been released from the Gardner Betts Juvenile Detention Center on the condition that they wear electronic monitoring devices.

This story drew our attention as the two suspects were juveniles, well beneath the age of being tried as adults. The rape kit, gloves and bandanas, showed premeditation on the part of whomever planned this crime.

According the publication, Adolescent Psychiatry, juveniles are responsible for far more sex offenses than the general public is probably aware of.
Sex offending behavior perpetrated by youth is not a rare phenomenon. Indeed, about half of all adult sex offenders are thought to have initiated their criminal careers during adolescence. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), juveniles were arrested for approximately 12.4% of all forcible rapes committed in 2001 (FBI, 2002).

Older statistics suggest that juveniles were responsible for approximately one-half of all child molestation cases committed in the United States in the late 1990s (Sickmund, Snyder, and Poe-Yamagata, 1997). Increases in violent crime among juveniles such as this led to nationwide legal reforms in the 1990s that lowered the age at which youths could be tried in adult criminal court (Snyder and Sickmund, 1999) and increased the severity of penalties available to juvenile courts (Torbet et al., 1996). Now, registration as a sex offender is among the penalties available for juvenile offenders in many states. [2]
The younger offender was 11. The state of Texas defines a "child" as age 10 and under.
Definition of “Child”

Whether a child is subject to the jurisdiction of a juvenile court depends primarily on his or her age. For juvenile law purposes, the Family Code defines a “child” as a person who is:

• 10 or older and under age 17; or

• 17 or older and under age 18, who is alleged or found to have engaged in
delinquent conduct indicating a need for supervision as a result of acts committed before turning age 17. [3]
(§51.02(2), F.C.)
There are three options in regard to a juvenile being required to register as a sex offender in the state of Texas.

If a child is adjudicated for committing a sexual offense, the youth may be required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The second option is the completion of a sex offender treatment program.
The court retains discretion to require or excuse registration at any time during the treatment program or on its successful or unsuccessful completion. During the period of deferral, registration may not be required. [3]
A third option is that the juvenile is required to register as a sex offender but this information is sealed to the public.

It is the juvenile court judge who has the final say on whether to require full registration meaning the name and photo of the juvenile posted on the internet.

Source -1- Houston Chronicle
Source - 2 - BNET - Juveniles Who Commit Sex Crimes
Source - 3- oag.state.tx

Image [kvii.com]


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