ROCKVILLE, Md. — Lawyers for the 15-year-olds accused in the alleged Halloween locker room rape at Damascus High School are pushing to return their cases to juvenile court. The families of at least two of the victims want to keep the teens in adult court.
The young victims of the attack at the football powerhouse are still shaken by what their teammates allegedly did to them. "They're struggling," said attorney Thomas DeGonia. "This is a very horrendous attack on them in a place where they thought they were going to be safe, in their school, in their locker room, by their teammates."
The four defendants are all charged as adults with first degree rape and conspiracy for allegedly invading the freshman locker room, throwing one victim to the floor, pulling down his pants, and violating him with a broomstick.
"My client has no history of any contact with any police ever," said defense attorney David Felsen. "He's a volunteer, or has volunteered to do sign language translation.... Just because a case is dealt with in the juvenile court, that's not a pass."
If they're convicted in adult court, the 15-year-olds face a possible sentence of life in prison. DeGonia said the victims want the defendants tried in adult court, "Because the victims are going to have to live with this attack and struggle with it for the rest of their lives."
Some of the victims' families are also furious at the school for allegedly failing to report the attack as soon as they heard about it. "Any parent whose child is attacked this way, physically and sexually, at a school, should expect immediate and appropriate response."
One key question for the judge: Do any of the defendants have a prior criminal history?
The first hearing started Friday at 9:30.