Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Trial in teen sexual-assault case to be conducted in secret


Enquirer motion to open hearing denied

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Two of three 14-year-olds charged with sexually assaulting three female classmates in March are expected to go on trial today in Warren County Juvenile Court.

        But the two-day hearing before Magistrate Joe Kirby will be held behind closed doors.

        Judge P. Daniel Fedders, of common pleas court, ruled Tuesday against the Enquirer's motion to allow media coverage, even though defense lawyers withdrew earlier objections to an open hearing.

        Among other issues, the Enquirer argued in its motion filed last month that media coverage would help dispel “serious questions concerning the manner in which the allegations and juveniles were dealt.”

        Also Tuesday, Judge Fedders denied defense motions to overturn an earlier decision allowing prosecutors to use the two boys' statements to police.

        Lawyers alleged the boys gave the statements under false pretenses because Mason police told the teens they were investigating underage drinking.

        The two boys face charges of rape, sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A third boy is to go on trial Aug. 9 on charges of sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

       



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