Accused rapist, 14, faces judge
Towering over his attorney with his hands shackled behind him, the lanky 14-year-old boy accused of being the city's youngest serial rapist appeared in Family Court yesterday, garnering little sympathy from a crowded courtroom waiting to hear whether he will be tried as an adult.
Then, his father entered the courtroom.
Frail and wan, the man walked with a cane at a glacial pace, a friend offering a steady arm should he stumble. A court worker trotted over with a chair, so he could sit beside his son, who stood before the judge.
"He is not a monster," Sagot said of his client. "He's a 14-year-old kid who has made some serious mistakes."
But Assistant District Attorney Eric Gibson, who is seeking to have the boy tried as an adult, vehemently objected to that characterization.
"The eight victims who were attacked by him would disagree with that," he said.
The Nicetown boy, a student at Olney High School, was arrested in March for touching a woman's crotch in West Philadelphia. Between the March arrest and the Oct. 26 hearing, cops said the teen attacked eight more women throughout the city, including in Nicetown, Mount Airy and West Philadelphia.
The victims, who ranged in age from 16 to 32, described their attacker as a young man with acne. DNA officially linked three cases to the boy, police said.
During his court appearance and outside afterward, a clearer picture began to emerge of a quiet teen who stunned all those who knew him when news of his alleged crimes broke.
He was an Olney High School student with a severe hearing impairment and a baby-face that belied the monstrosities of which he stands accused.
He's a boy who misses his brother and Sagot asked the judge yesterday to allow his 6-year-old brother to visit him at the Youth Study Center, despite rules forbidding such visits. Dumas declined.
He had a normal childhood with a middle-class family, who has little explanation for what might have sparked any attacks, Sagot added.
Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........
Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?
"Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight