Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Children and Rape

Posted by Maggie on December 3, 2007

In Acworth, a smaller city north of Atlanta, two boys under 10 were recently arrested for raping an 11-year-old girl. The AJC has a follow-up today about what a crime like this actually means. I’m glad they’ve done it, as the media coverage has been heavy but light on details, facts, or analysis. However, their expert is Julie Medlin, who claims this type of behavior among children is “common” also happens to be the person that most children within the metro area charged with a sexual crime get sent to for an evaluation. Of course she sees sexually aggressive children, that’s her job! But besides her, there are some well-informed opinions on the subject noting that this isn’t likely a rape in the way you normally think of it.

The case reminds me of one I tried some time ago involving a boy around 11 charged with a similar crime. I firmly believed he was innocent, but the Judge didn’t. (Then again, the Judge didn’t think any kid was innocent, so the odds were stacked against us.) The poor kid had to have a psychosexual evaluation over at Medlin, which thankfully found he didn’t have any aggressive tendencies. But the report assumed that the Judge’s findings were all completely correct and faulted the child for continuing to deny that anything had happened. It still disturbs me.


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