A 7-year-old boy from upstate New York is facing charges of rape.
WWNY reports that police arrested and charged the child with third-degree rape for an incident on Thanksgiving. He was subsequently released and will stand trial in family court. The boy is from Brasher Falls, New York, which is near the Canadian border.
The family’s attorney, Anthony Martone, told the news station, “Instinctually, it shouldn’t happen to a 7-year-old. I don’t think you could even realize what you’re doing at 7 years old, so I think it’s absurd to charge a 7-year-old with rape.” He continued, “They’d have to prove he actually physically committed this act, which to me, it almost seems to be an impossibility.”
Martone reportedly said it seems that the boy is being charged as a juvenile delinquent. Currently, there is a bill pending in the New York legislature that would raise the minimum age for being charged as a juvenile delinquent from 7 years old to 12.
The outlet reports that advocates are pushing for reform following this particular incident with the boy. Many details about the incident aren’t known at this time.
State Senator Patty Ritchie’s office told WWNY that the bill is being reviewed. The bill proposes using social services instead of charging children as juvenile delinquents and having them appear in family court.