Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Teen may be tried as adult in rape

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - Prosecutors on Monday said they may seek to try a Cincinnati-area teen as an adult on charges that he severely beat and raped his 57-year-old literacy tutor in a basement classroom of the local YWCA.

"If the facts are even close to what's been represented, we will probably seek transfer (to adult court) on this one," said Greg Stephens, chief of the Butler County Prosecutor's Juvenile Division.

After a brief hearing Monday, a Butler County Juvenile Court magistrate ordered the boy held in the county's Juvenile Detention Center to await a March 18 appearance before Judge Ron Craft.

The Cincinnati Enquirer does not publish the names of youths accused of crimes or of sexual assault victims. The boy is charged with a juvenile count of felonious assault.

The woman was released from Fort Hamilton Hospital on Sunday, two days after the reported attack.

The YWCA has issued a statement saying that the woman, a Y employee, "is eager to return to work." YWCA Executive Director Sibyl Miller did not respond to requests for an interview.

In its statement, the YWCA asserted: "We had no warning that he would pose any threat to staff... We are particularly saddened that this criminal act occurred while the young assailant was receiving the benefit of instruction to improve his reading skills."

The boy had been placed with "Discovery for Youth," a state-licensed, independent-living facility in Hamilton after more than a dozen contacts with Hamilton County Juvenile Court since 2000, said Mark Reed, Hamilton County Juvenile Court administrator.

Reed said he was still trying to gather some information and couldn't release other details, but said none of the previous incidents were of the nature of the current accusations. Many of the earlier alleged offenses involved property crimes, such as theftsReed said the youth needed intervention from multiple agencies and, at one time, had been sent to a residential treatment center.

Bill Sherman, a Cincinnati attorney who represents Discovery for Youth, said he did not know what information Discovery may have had about the boy because the organization does not assume custody of the youths who participate in its programs.

E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com

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