ROCKVILLE, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - For the second time this month, a judge has ruled a teen charged in the Damascus High School alleged broomstick rape case should be heard in juvenile court.
In November, the Montgomery County State's Attorney’s Office argued the alleged attack on four JV football players was so horrific that the teen suspects should be charged as adults. But a judge has now ruled that two of those suspects should have their cases heard in juvenile court instead.
"There was an expert witness called on behalf of the defense--a child psychologist who testified extensively about her findings regarding the defendant,” Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy stated. “The judge did indicate the opinions of that particular psychologist weighed very heavily in his decision to waive this young man back to juvenile court."
In a hearing that lasted most of the day, the judge heard testimony about the 15-year-old boy’s record in school. The teen in question did not have a record and so far has complied with all of the conditions of release imposed by the court.
But prosecutors put a detective on the stand who went through the facts of the case. The detective told the court that the 15-year-old freshman took part in several of the assaults against four JV football players.
The suspect punched and pushed them, pulled down the pants of at least one victim and had his hands on the broom in at least one of the assaults, according to authorities.
Prosecutors said the attack took place inside the locker room of the JV football team on Halloween.
Investigators said the suspects turned off the lights and raped one teammate with the broomstick and attempted to rape three players.
The 15-year-old told police it was a “tradition” and as the assistant state's attorney told the judge the teen had no empathy for the victims.
But another witness with pre-trial services told the court the teen is amenable to treatment and the juvenile system is the best place for him.
"Each boy has to be looked at individually under the law and that is what we are attempting to do. We have two boys remaining and we will examine whether we will go forward in those two hearings or not and we will look at them based on the individual facts that have been developed in the course of this investigation,” McCarthy explained.