Memphis boys alleged in toddler rape put in protective custody

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2011 7:29 PM
Memphis boys alleged in toddler rape put in protective custody

By Tim Ghianni

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Reuters) - Two Memphis boys, aged 7 and 9, alleged to have raped a 2-year-old girl last August were placed in protective custody on Monday.

Shelby County Juvenile Court Magistrate Dan Michael turned the boys over to the state's Department of Children's Services after the prosecution asked that they be put in custody for treatment rather than punishment.

The boys' attorneys, James Sanders and Samuel Jones, had both asked that the boys be allowed to receive rehabilitative services from the state while in their own homes.

Sanders, who represents the 9-year-old, said there were "clearly no winners" in the situation.

"You've got a victim who certainly is going to probably bear the scars of this incident for years to come," he said.

"And you've got two young, alleged perpetrators who are going to have to carry the burden of this offense with them for years to come. And you've got a family structure that is at least disrupted from this point on."

Jones, who represents the 7-year-old, said that it was "an emotional day for the families" and he didn't dispute the ruling. "I have high respect for the judge and this is a very tough case for everybody," Jones said.

(Writing and reporting by Tim Ghianni; With additional reporting by Richard Cotton in Memphis; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Peter Bohan)