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Scranton youth faces statutory rape charges

Many youthful adventures can turn into criminal conduct. Some of these adventures can be dismissed as simply the result of youthful indiscretion or poor judgment, but some adventures can leave a permanent stain on a person's life. A young man Scranton is now facing this possibility after being charged with statutory rape and three other felony charges stemming from his sexual relationship with a 13-year old girl.

The criminal charges emanated from conversations between the girl and her mother. The girl told her mother that she was "dating" the defendant and that they had sex on numerous occasions. The mother reported the conversations to the police, and police then confronted the youth with his alleged conduct. At a later interview at the Children's Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the girl said that an initial flirtation led to sex, that the sexual relation began in December 2014 and continued into August 2015. The girl told police that the defendant was aware of her age and that he asked her to keep the relationship private so that he could avoid trouble.

The young man has been charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person younger than 16, statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor. All of the alleged crimes are felonies. The 19-year-old defendant wanted to talk to an attorney before speaking with police.

Like all defendants, the young man in this case is entitled to the presumption that he is innocent unless and until he is proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, the charges in this case can stick to a person's reputation even if all are dismissed. Anyone facing criminal sex charges can benefit from consulting an attorney who is experienced in handling such cases. Such a consultation can provide a helpful assessment of the facts and applicable law, a list of potential defense strategies, and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, "Police: Man had sex with 13-year-old in Scranton," Joseph Kohut, Nov. 5, 2015

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