Being charged with a crime as a child can have lasting repercussions and long-term consequences that follow an individual into adulthood. Most cases involving juveniles, including cases of drug possession, shoplifting or underage drinking, are handled in the juvenile court system. However, when violent crimes or sex crimes are committed, the courts sometimes have the option to charge juveniles as adults.
Under Pennsylvania law, juvenile cases are automatically transferred to the adult court system when the juvenile is accused of using a deadly weapon during the commission of certain crimes, including rape, kidnapping and robbery.
Prosecutors are charging two Pennsylvania teens as adults for their alleged role in a Dec. 25 attack on a 22-year-old Upper Darby woman. Police say that the pair of 17-year-olds and a 19-year-old accomplice allegedly approached the woman outside a bar, took her car and then drove around Philadelphia for five hours while they sexually assaulted and robbed her.
Police report that they arrested the two high school students the next day after they allegedly broke into a home. At the time of the arrest, a handbag that police say belonged to the victim was found in their possession. The victim has also identified the suspects.
The three suspects may be charged with up to 42 different crimes stemming from the attack and have each been held on $500,000 cash bail.
Although the exact charges that will result from this incident are unknown, they are likely to be severe, leaving these young men facing very stiff criminal penalties in an adult prison if they are convicted of these grim allegations.
Source: The Mercury, "Woman carjacked, brutally assaulted Christmas night in Upper Darby," Linda Reilly, Dec. 27, 2012