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14-year-old admits to sexual assault on boy, 5

May 18, 2000

In a courtroom closed to all but juvenile authorities and families of the victim and the accused, a teenage boy admitted Wednesday he sexually assaulted a 5-year-old boy last month.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick Wright returned the 14-year-old to the Thomas B. Finan Center in Cumberland, Md., until he can be placed in a proper setting.

The youth admitted to a fourth-degree sex offense. Additional charges of sodomy and a second-degree sex offense were dropped in exchange for the admission.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Bill Hayden said the April 5 incident in a South End neighborhood came to light when the victim returned to his home from the home of the accused next door.

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Hayden said the child's mother noticed he was upset and asked him what was wrong. Based on what he told her, the mother discovered evidence he had been sexually assaulted.

The mother took the child to Washington County Hospital after calling Hagerstown City Police to report the sexual assault.

Detective Shawn Shultz questioned the victim and then talked to the 14-year-old, who admitted the sexual contact.

The teenager was detained at the Finan Center immediately and will remain there until he is placed for long-term commitment.

- Marlo Barnhart

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