A judge takes two children who admitted raping a toddler away from their families. It was an emotional scene as the children, ages 7 and 9, appeared in Shelby County Juvenile Monday afternoon. The judge had some strong words for the parents.
Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael says the boys admitted in court a month ago to raping a two-year-old girl in South Memphis. That happened in August. The boys have been staying with parents and grandparents since then, but today a judge said no more.
Inside Shelby County Juvenile Court, it’s case where no one comes out ahead.
“What occurred here today is not unusual in our society today,” said Attorney Samuel Jones, who is defending the 7-year-old.
A two-year-old was raped. Her five-year-old brother witnessed it. Seven- and nine-year-old boys are being taken from their homes for doing it. How did this happen?
Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael said, “Both young men have come by knowledge neither of them should have by 7-years-old or 9-years-old.”
He ordered both be placed in DCS protective custody for treatment. The 9-year-old lived with his grandmother, and the 7-year-old lived with his mother.
The mother of the 7-year-old burst into tears in court Monday and begged the judge, “Please don’t take my child,” as she kissed him goodbye.
“She’s obviously very emotional,” said Jones. “She came to court with her 7-year-old, and she’s going home without him. So I’m not sure there’s anything I can say other than that. It’s very, very emotional.”
The rape happened in August of 2010, around the same time several other boys were arrested across town in Cordova for raping a toddler.
“This sort of thing is something that we see from time to time in our society,” said Jones. “And all of the professionals involved are challenged in it. And I think they are trying to make the best decision that they can.”
Juvenile court says sadly the number of child sex crimes is on the rise, increasing nearly 20-percent last year compared to the year before.
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