An 11-year-old boy and his mother were both arrested in Oklahoma City after the boy was accused of raping his 6-year-old sister. The boy was arrested on a rape complaint and taken to the Berry House, the Oklahoma County juvenile detention facility, and his mother was arrested on a complaint of failing to report child abuse and was taken to the Oklahoma County jail.
Oklahoma City Girl Raped By Brother and Cousin
Police responded to the alleged victim's home after the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) reported that the girl had been sexually abused by her older brother and a cousin. The girl told a DHS worker that the incident occurred on Wednesday, March 6, but that her mother told her not to tell anyone. An older sister told police that she found out about the alleged assault the following day and told her mother, who said she already knew.
The mother of the children told a DHS worker that she did not notify police or take the girl to the hospital for treatment. The alleged victim's brother and cousin each accused the other of raping the girl.
DHS workers took the girl to the hospital and into protective custody.
Oklahoma's Sex Offender Laws
Oklahoma has separate sex offender registries for adults and juveniles, and these registries have significant differences. The Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry for adults is offense-based, and any adult convicted of certain sex crimes is required to register for a specific amount of time, including up to lifetime registration. This list is available for public view in an effort to protect potential victims from nearby sexual predators.
The juvenile sex offender registry, however, is risk-based rather than offense based, and the list is only viewable by law enforcement and not the general public. Because the juvenile registry is based on the delinquent's risk of re-offending, there are few names on the registry. In fact, in 2011, there was only one name on the list, despite 1,300 sex crimes adjudicated in juvenile court in the preceding three years.
Child sexual abuse expert Dr. Mark Chaffin, a pediatrics professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, says that because Oklahoma tends to hold delinquent youth until their risk has diminished or they age out of the system, it is not surprising that the list of registered juvenile sex offenders in Oklahoma is small. He contends that juvenile sex offenders bear little resemblance to adult sex offenders, saying, "They're not simply younger versions of adult sex offenders, nor do most of them age into becoming adult sex offenders." He also asserts that juvenile sex offenders are at a low risk of re-offending because their motivation is so different. Rather than committing sex crimes as a form of eroticized aggression, juveniles tend to commit sex offenses due to poor judgment, impulsivity, or sexual curiosity. Dr. Chaffin argues that the risk of re-offense of juvenile sex offenders is not greater than that of juveniles accused of non-sexual crimes. Oklahoma County Juvenile Court Judge Richard Kirby echoes this assertion, saying, "From what I understand, it's between four and fifteen percent recidivism rates for juvenile sex offenders, whereas, for adult sex offenders, it's up to fifty percent." With different motivation and low-risk of recidivism for juvenile sex offenders, it is important that they are not subjected to the same stigma or collateral consequences that burden adult offenders.
Rape & Sexual Assault Defense for Minors
If your child has been accused of a sex-related crime in Oklahoma talk to a statutory rape attorney at The Law Offices of Adam R. Banner to protect your child from overzealous criminal prosecution. We can ensure your child's rights are protected throughout the entire legal process.