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Judge rules 11-year-old may remain with parents

June 13, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

An 11-year-old boy who sexually abused a 7-year-old boy will be allowed to remain at home with his parents, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The boy, who pleaded guilty in April to a charge of second-degree sex offense, will be on indefinite supervised probation, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said.

He will undergo an extensive treatment program, she said.

"Someone will be with this child at all times. The court's going to have its finger on this case for a very long time," she said.

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Before the proceedings began, Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, ordered the media, a victim advocate and an expert witness to leave the room.

Flores requested a closed proceeding and Defense Attorney Wiley Rutledge agreed.

The disposition of the case is public information, Flores said afterward. Rutledge declined to comment.

The charge stemmed from two incidents in which police said the 11-year-old sexually abused the younger child at St. Catherine's Church in Hagerstown in December.

During an April court proceeding, the 11-year-old's therapist, Marilyn L. Durbin, told Beachley that he was adopted and under her care for difficulties bonding with his parents.

She said he had been sexually abused on several occasions by a male baby sitter.

Durbin had urged the judge not to separate the 11-year-old from his parents because doing so would cause his behavior to deteriorate.

Rutledge had said the boy's parents had arranged their schedules so that one parent is with him at all times.

Beachley had commended the parents for understanding the gravity of the situation and taking steps to make sure the boy was supervised by arranging their schedules so that one parent is with him at all times.

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