In 2017, a 16-year-old girl was raped by a 16-year-old boy after getting drunk at a house party in New Jersey. The rape happened in a dark corner of the said house’s basement, and reports surfaced claiming that the boy had taken a video of the incident.
In the video, the young girl’s head can be seen repeatedly banging against the wall and her exposed torso is in plain view. The boy was also accused of distributing the video with his friends, and it continued circulating for months despite the girl’s attempts to stop it.
The boy’s actions were deemed predatory and sophisticated by prosecutors, who requested that he be tried as an adult and be waived from juvenile court. However, a family court judge denied the requests in July 2018, and his reasons for denying the requests sparked a reproach from the appeals court.
Judge James Troiano of the Monmouth County Superior Court denied that the boy’s actions were predatory or that it was rape. According to the Judge, rape cases supposedly involve two or more males holding a victim at gunpoint or using a weapon, with clear indications of manhandling.
He concluded that the boy was not to be tried as an adult since he came from a good family and went to a good school. He added that the boy was an Eagle Scout and that his college entry scores were high, and so he was likely to go to a good college.
Judge Troiano claimed that pressing charges would have a disastrous effect on the boy’s life.
The New Jersey Superior Court’s Appellate Division reversed the judge’s decision on June 14, and prosecutors are assessing their next step.