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Father of victim lashes out at judge after 4th Damascus High School rape suspect sent back to juvenile court

Dad of brutalized freshman says his son was targeted for locker room sex assault because he's a retired cop and the defendant had repeated incidents with police.

DAMASCUS, Md. — The father of a high school freshman allegedly sodomized with a broomstick slammed the judge who on Thursday transferred his alleged attacker's case back to juvenile court.

The dad, whose name we're withholding to protect the 14-year-old victim, said Circuit Court Judge Steven Salant, "has failed the victims and failed the Damascus High School community."

The alleged assailant, 15, is charged with first degree rape and conspiracy in the Halloween 2018 attack on four freshman in the locker room and the nationally known high school football powerhouse.

RELATED: Psychologist: 4th suspect in Damascus rape case has severe ADHD

Judge Salant found that the attacker suffered from untreated ADHD, and suggested that now that he was getting medication, he was a much reduced risk to the community and would be better treated in juvenile court.

The defendant had five encounters with police, and hundreds of school disciplinary reports, prior to the attack in the locker room. Prosecutors allege he had tried before to pull off one of his teammate's pants while threatening him with a broomstick.

The victim's furious father said two of the victims were children of law enforcement officers, and said he had "no doubt" they were targeted because of that. He quoted the defendant as telling his son earlier when he was wearing a t-shirt for a police fundraiser: "Take that (expletive) shirt off! How dare you wear that shirt in my presence?"

RELATED: Charges against third suspect in Damascus High School rape case returned to juvenile court

The defendant stands 6'1" and 245 lbs, and the victim's father said he'd "spent four years terrorizing the Damascus community, culminating the the violent rape."

Daniel Wright, the boy's lawyer, called the allegations "character assassination," and questioned why the school, "day after day after day," left the locker room unattended. He said the school knew that his client was troubled, and failed to intervene. And he said the school knew the program had a history of locker room hazing, and still failed to act.

Prosecutor John McCarthy was also unhappy with the judge's decision to try the boy's case in juvenile instead of adult court. "I don't think there is any causal connection between ADHD and violent sexual attack," McCarthy said.

RELATED: Second alleged Damascus High School rapist transferred back to juvenile court

The four 15-year-old suspects were initially charged as adults, but the judge has now transferred all of the defendants to juvenile court. The Montgomery County Department of Juvenile Services had said in a report that several factors in the latest defendant's case argued in favor of keeping him in adult court.

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