A 12-year-old boy was caught in the act of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old female acquaintance by the victim’s 16-year-old brother, who had arrived home and observed the juveniles in the act. The 12-year-old juvenile suspect, in addition to sexually assaulting the victim, had beaten her with the heel of a shoe that was nearby. The victim was almost unconscious when the police arrived.
Following the incident, the juvenile was arrested and detained by local police on the following charges:
- Attempted sexual assault of a minor
- Aggravated assault
- Minor in possession of an alcoholic beverage
- Unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana)
The juvenile suspect was a latchkey kid, a child who returns from school to an empty home, from a single-parent home. His mother works from 2 p.m–11 p.m. Monday through Friday, so the juvenile is often alone for hours upon his return from school.
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After a preliminary examination, the juvenile suspect explained that the victim purchased the marijuana and the alcohol earlier that same day. The juvenile explained that the victim had invited him to her house because they had “been liking each other” for a long time. Further, the juvenile explained that the alcohol and drugs were in the home when he arrived. He said that he and the victim began by smoking marijuana and drinking beer before they began kissing and fondling one another. Next, according to the juvenile suspect, they started to have what he described as consensual sex. After a short while they were interrupted by the victim’s brother, who had come home from work. The victim’s brother then called the police to report the incident.
The juvenile had prior detentions for violation of curfew, truancy, and attempted sexual battery. No further explanations are given.
Write an essay from the perspective of the police officer, the state’s attorney, and the judge. Do each of these components of the criminal justice system see the offender as a status offender for any of the charges? Discuss your opinion of the status offender from the perspective of each criminal justice component (law enforcement, states attorney, and the judge). Are the charges viewed by each of the criminal justice components listed below as delinquent acts?
- From the perspective of the police officer
- What typically happens to this juvenile before he even goes to juvenile court? How does law enforcement process the incident?
- From the perspective of the state’s attorney
- Make suggestions to the court on how the boy should be punished/sentenced.
- From the perspective of the judge
- Based on the facts of the case and the procedures of the juvenile justice system, what would be the most appropriate finding for the court? What options does the judge have in this incident?