Judge To Decide Rape Case Court

September 09, 2009|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

Prosecutors and defense attorneys argued Tuesday over whether a 17-year-old who police say admitted raping a 7-year-old in his Crofton neighborhood March 20 should be tried as a juvenile or an adult.

The distinction is crucial for David B. Raszewski of the 1700 block of Granite Court, who was charged as an adult with second-degree rape, assault and related charges. If convicted as a juvenile, he could be held for treatment until he turns 21. If convicted as an adult, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Citing public safety, Anne Arundel County prosecutors want him tried as an adult. Two psychologists and a county social worker have said his best chance to obtain treatment is through juvenile court.

Jennifer Beard of the Department of Juvenile Services told Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Philip T. Caroom on Tuesday that the teen could receive intensive therapy in a locked youth facility on the grounds of the former Hickey School.

"There is certainly a possibility that he may not cooperate with those services," said Assistant State's Attorney Sandra Howell.

"I don't think that is going to happen," Beard replied.

Last week, two psychologists - one hired by the defense and one court-appointed - said the youth has an unspecified autism disorder and recommended that the case be heard in juvenile court. The teen has received help in school for learning disabilities, said his lawyer, James Crawford Jr.

Caroom is expected to decide next week whether the case will be tried in juvenile or adult court.

The youth initially told Anne Arundel Detective David Wood that he had not gone outside on the afternoon of March 20. Wood said that when he asked the teen what he would think if the 7-year-old said he had assaulted her, he replied that "he would think she had a really good imagination."

But Wood testified that the teen soon admitted to the attack. As Wood described it, a few of the girl's relatives left the room.

The girl was at a playground with her brother and their sitter. The sitter took the boy to the bathroom, and the teen told police he asked the girl to help him move furniture. Inside the house, the teen twice prevented the girl from running away and assaulted her, Wood said. "He realized what he was doing was wrong and stopped." He gave her $2 and let her leave, Wood said.

The detective said the youth told him: "I practically destroyed her for a long time."

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