Multiple news has reported a 7-year-old boy from upstate New York has been charged with rape.
New York State Police charged the unnamed boy with third-degree rape on March 23. The charge stems from an incident that was reported on Thanksgiving, reported by Watertown Daily Times and WWNY-TV.
State police confirmed that the child was only 7 and that they were currently investigating the matter. For now, there were no further details were revealed about the incident yet.
The 7-year-old was released after the authorities charged him with third-degree rape and according to the report will be tried in Family Court.
“Absurd”, stated by Queens attorney Anthony Martone, who is not confirmed to represent the child or his family
“Instinctually, it shouldn’t happen that a 7-year-old — I don’t think you even could realize what you’re doing at seven years old,” he said. “They’d have to prove he actually physically committed this act, which, to me, it almost seems to be an impossibility.”
The law stated that beginning at the age of seven, children can be brought to court if they are accused of having committed a crime.
“Youth who are accused of committing crimes to fall into three categories: Juvenile Delinquent, Juvenile Offender, and Adolescent Offender,” the court system states.
A Juvenile Delinquent is a child over 7, but under 18 years of age (effective 10/1/19), who commits an act that would be a crime if it had been committed by an adult. Juvenile offenders, who are 13, 14, and 15 years of age, are not considered Juvenile Delinquents. Cases involving Juvenile Delinquents are handled in Family Court. Juvenile Delinquents do not go to adult jails. Instead, the court decides if they need supervision, treatment or placement through the local department of social services or the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Juvenile Delinquents do not have criminal records. Family Court proceedings are confidential and in some instances, the cases can be sealed.
According to WWNY, there is a current bill pending in the New York legislature that would change the minimum age for being charged as a juvenile delinquent from 7 to 12.