Democratic presidential candidate Sen. (D-N.Y.) slammed a New Jersey family court judge after it was found that he refused to try a 16-year-old boy who was accused of rape as an adult, citing the defendant’s test scores and “good family.”
“I don’t care what kind of family you’re from—sexual assault is never acceptable. Stop making excuses for perpetrators and start standing up for those who’ve been violated. Our kids don’t need to be coddled. They need to be taught not to rape,” Gillibrand tweeted.
I don’t care what kind of family you’re from—sexual assault is never acceptable. Stop making excuses for perpetrators and start standing up for those who’ve been violated.
Our kids don’t need to be coddled. They need to be taught not to rape. https://t.co/5JbfraBfOf
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 3, 2019
In the New Jersey ruling, an appeals court criticized Judge James Troiano for denying a waiver to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office to elevate a sexual assault case between two 16-year-old students to full adult charges, accusing the judge of holding a “bench trial” instead of reviewing the waiver.
The boy, identified as G.M.C. in court documents, allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl, identified as Mary, at a party in 2017. Court documents show that G.M.C. sent a text to his friends the next day with video footage he took of the assault and a message that said, “When your first time having sex was rape.”
But, in his decision to deny the waiver, Troiano wrote that G.M.C. was an Eagle Scout, and he came from “a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well … He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.”
A New Jersey appellate court reversed the decision to try the defendant as an adult last month.
Gillibrand has previously introduced legislation to improve accountability in sexual assault cases on college campuses and blasted members of the military for not addressing sexual assault in the armed forces.