CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – A 9-year-old Centerville boy is charged with a sex crime.
It’s a shocking charge for someone so young, so we started asking questions about the prosecution of children under the age of 10.
Crimes are committed by the very young. Sometimes the child doesn’t realize he or she is crossing the line, but if a complaint is filed and an investigation produces evidence, a prosecutor has to begin legal action.
They can be small and still be a criminal and end up in a juvenile facility.
The case involving the 9-year old boy happened on Fernshire Drive in Centerville recently.
He is now charged with gross sexual imposition, accused of pulling down the pants of another child and touching him inappropriately.
The older juveniles that you see in a story from a few years ago are helping Dayton police sort through stolen copper as part of community service.
Montgomery County juvenile prosecutors say they use discretion for cases that involve kids under the age of 10.
“Our juvenile court works to collaborate the best way to serve a child,” said Julie Bruns, Montgomery County juvenile prosecutor.
That includes selecting alternative methods for discipline, so that every young offender does not get a jail sentence.
There are examples of how a criminal charge can help a young offender.
“For example, we had a 10-year-old who shot someone and we determined the best course was to charge him and make sure the correct treatment was put into place.”
Montgomery County Juvenile Court has a special program for offenders who are under the age of 10.
Many are referred and there are people who are in charge of making sure the children and their families follow protocol. That can include counseling.
Juvenile prosecutors don’t always want to charge kids. They say through the 10 and under program, they will offer services to address the issues they are having without having a criminal charge, but if families do not follow the program, they will file a charge to force treatment.