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Boy, 15, admits to third-degree sex offense

September 08, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

A 15-year-old boy admitted Wednesday in Washington County Juvenile Court that he committed a third-degree sexual offense against a neighbor girl last April.

The teenager, who has been at the Shelter Care unit at the Finan Center in Cumberland, Md., since the incident, will be placed in a high security/mental health residential setting as soon as one is available.

In the meantime, Judge John H. McDowell ordered that he be returned to Cumberland.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said the April 22 incident came to light when the mother of the 12-year-old girl learned that the boy had gone into her bedroom.

Circincion said the boy cut the girl's hair and wrote "I hate you" on her neck with an ink pen. Later it was learned that he also had sexual contact with her.

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"When he was confronted about this, he admitted it," Cirincion said.

The mother of the victim stood up in court and told McDowell that her wish and her daughter's wish was that the boy be placed somewhere other than back in his home.

"It is our desire that he gets the help he needs," she said.

Defense attorney Michael Morrissette said he has interviewed the teenager several times at the Cumberland hospital since he was charged.

Morrissette told McDowell he could see a big change in the boy's demeanor and level of understanding since his medication has been monitored.

"He was adamant that he wanted to admit to this," Morrissette said in court. "He also knows he shouldn't go home as yet."

A spokesman for the Department of Juvenile Justice said they were looking into an assisted living setting with 24-hour supervision and mental health treatment.

"There is a lot of concern for (this boy)," McDowell said. "I credit the victim's mother for her compassion."

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