Judge Says Teen Rapist Deserves Leniency Because He's From A ‘Good Family'

Judge Says Teen Rapist Deserves Leniency Because He's From A ‘Good Family'

The judge claimed that the woman should have been told by the prosecutors that filing a case against the young man would ruin his life.

A 16-year-old boy sexually assaulted a visibly intoxicated girl the same age in a dark basement, during what was supposed to be a pajama party, according to New Jersey prosecutors. The New York Times reports that the boy filmed himself abusing her in 2017, before sharing it with friends while bragging that his “first time having sex was rape.”  Now, a New Jersey family court judge is coming under fire for extending leniency to the 16-year-old. The judge said it wasn't rape, as he wondered out loud if it was sexual assault, because, according to him, it only classified as rape if it was an attack at gunpoint by strangers. 



The judge then went on to say that the boy came from a good family, attended an excellent school, had terrific grades, and was an Eagle Scout. Therefore, the judge stated the prosecutors should have told the girl and her family that pressing charges against the boy would have destroyed his life. Judge James Troiano of the Superior Court denied the prosecutors’ motion to try the 16-year-old as an adult last year in a two-hour decision while sitting in Monmouth County. “He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college.”



Now, the judge is facing some serious flak for his decision by an appeals court and he has been sharply rebuked in a brutal 14-page ruling, warning him against showing bias against privileged teenagers. By doing this, the appeals court has cleared the way for the case to be moved from the family court to a grand jury where the teenager, identified only as G.M.C. in court documents, will be treated as an adult. 



According to the prosecutors, the accused filmed the alleged attack with his phone, and in the footage the girl’s bare torso was visible, and her head could be seen “hanging down.” One of the accused’s friends, who was sent the clip, said the footage “showed [the victim’s] head hitting repeatedly against the wall.” The victim discovered bruises on her body the next day and that's when she confided in her mother, expressing fears that she may have been raped. 



“Over the course of several months, [the victim] learned that G.M.C.’s video had been circulated among his friends and their mutual acquaintances, and she attempted to communicate with him about it,” reads the appeals court decision. “She repeatedly told G.M.C. that she was more interested in putting the episode behind her than anything else. G.M.C. denied having recorded the encounter and said that their friends were lying.”



The girl's mother called the cops after she discovered that the footage was still being circulated among her friends and peers. Troiano, who is now retired, also said that he doubted the victims claims that she was too intoxicated to consent. “Some people would argue that, you know, really what did…she drinks and how could she possibly have gotten as drunk as she says she was,” Troiano said. “I think it’s an issue here, whether or not this young lady was intoxicated to the point that she didn’t understand what was going on.”



The appeals court chided Troiano for his ruling. “Rather than focusing on whether the prosecutor’s consideration of the statutory factors supported the application, the judge decided the case for himself,” the appeal court decision said. When accused of serious crimes, New Jersey laws allows juveniles as young as 15 to be tried as adults, and the grand jury will decide whether to indict him on the sexual assault accusation. Judges across the nation have come under fire for the way they have handled sexual abuse cases in recent years. 


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