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Will 2 New Jersey teens be certified as adults for sex crimes?

Two New Jersey teenagers are facing criminal charges in connection with a juvenile crime. The two allegedly committed the offense when they were 17 years old, but there will soon be a hearing to determine if they will be tried as adults. The juvenile crime occurred in last fall, but went unreported until May of this year. The two were arrested in August and have been held in a juvenile detention center since then.

The teenagers, along with one adult, are accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Authorities believe she was given a drink that incapacitated her. When she woke up, she claimed that she discovered there was a sexual assault in progress and told the man to stop, but was ignored. The victim permitted authorities to listen to a telephone call with one of the accused. Police claim that during the phone call, one of them acknowledged the abuse.

Defense lawyers are requesting additional time to persuade the prosecutor to withdraw her motion to have the two teenagers tried as adults. If they are tried as adults, they could face up to two decades in prison. On the other hand, if they are tried for the crime as juveniles instead, they could be sentenced to a reformatory for up to four years. A judge has requested to receive a decision from the prosecutor in the near future.

For now, the two New Jersey teenagers remain unidentified because they were charged as juveniles. The two have since turned 18 years old, but the alleged crime occurred when they were only 17, which could help them in this case. Having trustworthy legal counsel is something that could also help these teenagers as they seek to fight the charges against them. It is important for them to understand the severity of the charges, so they will have a full understanding of their rights and potential criminal repercussions.

Source: Daily Record, "Defense in Morristown sex assault case seeks to keep teens from being tried as adults," Peggy Wright, Oct. 16, 2012

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