STATE v. J.V.
Our client was charged in Juvenile Court with Sexual Assault, a class A felony. He faced penalties of a lifetime presence on the Maine Sex Offenders Registry, a lifetime ban on many employment opportunities and a lifetime ban on federal educational loans. He would forever be forced to list his address with the local town in which he lived, and face the banishment of his neighbors. He faced incarceration until the age of 25 in first a juvenile detention facility and later in an adult penal institution. If we did not successfully adjudicate his charges, his life was ruined.
Like most juvenile offenders he was from a broken home where his parents used him as a weapon in their continued hatred of each other. His welfare and benefit was never on their minds. And this hatred extended to his rehabilitation efforts during the adjudication of this offense. Neither of his parents would support him as he attempted to regularly attend school, attend therapy sessions and attend life coaching sessions generously provided by the State. This is why we fight so hard in our family matter divorce cases to teach the parents how to co parent for the welfare and benefit of their children.
His ‘crime' was to have consensual sex with a minor who lied about her age. His sexual partner covered her indiscretion with her parents by falsely charging him with raping her, not an uncommon event in such juvenile cases. Neither he nor his parents believed his actions were against the law in Maine. However, a minor is not legally able to consent to a sexual act under Maine law.
We stayed with him as he fought to comply with the State's demands for rehabilitation and contrition. He eventually was given a week-long shock sentence in Long Creek Youth Development Center. When he appeared in court wearing handcuffs and leg irons, bleeding from where they chafed his skin, we asked the court to punish the parents rather than the child, and won the compassion of the court. His parents finally saw the error of their ways and began to support his rehabilitation efforts. Finally, after many tumultuous months, we were able to win a dismissal of his charges and cleared his good name. His life will not be ruined this time.