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Teens charged with sex crimes

A massive investigation has been launched and two Vista Murrieta students are facing charges for juvenile crimes after several underage girls reported that the students sexually assaulted them. The older of the two California teens, who had been football players for the school, has been indicted on counts of forcible rape, lewd acts with a girl under 14, and false imprisonment involving at least three different girls. The older boy, age 17, has also been accused of dissuading a victim from reporting a crime. Charges against the younger boy, age 16, have not been specified because of the nature of the crimes, but he was also indicted for sex-related misconduct.

Authorities report the investigation into the matter began in late August. The boys had been playing with the football team until that point, but they were removed from the roster after the allegations surfaced. So far, little is known about the allegations because of privacy laws that govern the proceedings involving juvenile crimes. The assaults are said to have started in 2012, with the most recent occurring in August, but information relating to the ages or identities of the victims is scant. The Murrieta Valley Unified School District has acknowledged that all parties involved were students within the organization, but the assaults did not occur on school property.

School administrators were the first to find out about the charges. They took the information to police officers after fielding it at the educational institutions.

The older defendant will receive a public hearing in juvenile court, as the nature of the crimes require an open legal proceeding. The younger of the two, however, will enjoy full confidentiality. Even the outcome of the case is to remain sealed in his juvenile records. It is not clear why the older boy is required to publicly answer for the allegations, while the younger is able to enjoy privacy. These defendants both deserve the full protection of the court in this incredibly sensitive matter.

Source: www.pe.com, "Murrieta: 2 teen athletes face sex charges" Sarah Burge, Sep. 16, 2013

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