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FRIDAY UPDATE: COURT HEARING
The juvenile court judge said it is a tragedy for all involved about two grade school boys charged with raping a five year old girl.
Would they be sent to jail?
The Scioto County Juvenile Judge made an exception to allow a camera in the courtroom. The exceptions are in serious felony cases, murder, violent assault and now charges of rape, but there are ground rules we must follow regarding a 10 and 11 year old's right to privacy.
That opinion from the attorney for the younger 10 year old rape suspect both sets of parents would have preferred this juvenile plea and detention hearing stay closed to the media, but the judge decided on the public's right to know.
“This complaint involves delinquency on the charge of rape,” Judge James Kirsch said.
The judge addressed both boys directly, told them they could possibly be jailed until they turned 21 if found guilty.
Both pleaded not guilty to the rape charges. Then in the detention hearing, the prosecutor, noting the seriousness of the charge, was still compelled to ask for house arrest.
The younger boy turned 10 the day after the alleged incident, but still the judge said the juvenile detention center is just not equipped for 10 and 11 year old inmates.
The judge decided, at least until the pre-trial hearing, to leave the boys in the custody of their parents but on electronic home monitoring -- and he ordered them to be good.
Under the judge’s parental custody and house arrest ruling, the boys will be monitored electronically and basically not allowed to go out of their yards and at least one boy is not allowed in school.
The mother of the 11-year-old says her son was told to leave his summer school class. She said Wheelersburg Schools decided he was a disruption to the education process.
The judge said if the boys don't follow his rules, he will consider detention.
In all, nearly 200 comments about the story have been submitted to WSAZ.com about the story. Many e-mails from viewers wanted to know why the boys were released back into custody of their parents. The sheriff's department said that's standard procedure.
We asked some Southern Ohio residents what they thought.
“As a grandparent I can see them released back until they're proven innocent or guilty,” Avevice Anderson said.
“It could happen again,” Ruth Bonecutter said, “Now, kids can't play in their own yard.”
Police said the boys have been told to stay away from the little girl until they go to court.
The boys will go before a juvenile court judge Friday morning in Scioto County.
Stay with WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.
Detectives said the boys ages 9 and 11 are now charged with juvenile rape and the mother of little girl said she will press charges.
Lena Potter said her daughter was robbed of her innocence when one boy held her down while the other raped her. Tuesday, we heard from a mother who said she wants to make sure the attackers can't hurt any other children.
It's tough for Lena Potter to go out in her backyard.
According to the police report, the little girl was playing here in the backyard with 9 and 11 year old boys-- one held her down while the other raped her.
“She's not sleeping well, it hurts when she goes to the bathroom, she knows they hurt her, but don't know the consequences of it,” Potter said.
Since the rape, you don't see many children outside riding their bikes or playing basketball, just looking out the window.
“It's a family neighborhood,” neighbor Karen Atkins said, “This incident robbed us of it all.”
Detective Jody Conkel said parents need to talk to their children about inappropriate touching.
“Talk to your kids,” Conkel said,”Those are your private areas and no one is supposed to see those-- it's all in education.”
Mrs. Potter said she plans to get an attorney tomorrow. Her goal is to make sure the boys are punished and taken out of local school system.
“Anytime I look at my daughter, I start crying,” Potter said, “My husband's been dead 15 months, how do you explain this isn't her fault?”
The little girl did have to go to two different hospitals. One of them specializes in juvenile victims.
Police said they handle all types of sex crimes involving juveniles and this case will be handed over to juvenile court.
In the video above, the unedited interview with the victim's mother She willingly spoke with WSAZ Tuesday night.