Many individuals do not believe that a juvenile who engages in felony criminal sexual conduct and is convicted of it will face long-term consequences. They think that the matter will disappear when the child turns 18, but that is not the case. Juvenile sex crimes can result in the minor being charged as an adult and this means serving an adult prison sentence.
If your child has been charged with felony criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota, it is imperative to secure the services of an experiencedSt. Paul criminal defense attorney experienced in such matters. An attorney protects the rights of your child and works hard to avoid the potential consequences of the charge.
It is not guaranteed that your child’s case will be handled in juvenile court. It is expected, but the judge may rule that the child can stand trial as an adult.
According to the Department of Justice:
- Juveniles account for more than 35.6 percent of those who commit sex offenses against other children.
- Children who commit sex offenses are more likely than adult offenders to offend at school and in groups and they tend to have more male victims and their victims are younger.
- The age in which youth sex offenders start to come to the attention of police is around the age of 12 and it plateaus around the age of 14. Offenses are primarily against younger children, but offenses against other teenagers can occur in later adolescence.
- Female sex offenders make up 7 percent of juvenile offenders.
- Female offenders are more frequently found among younger youth than older youth. They are more likely to have male victims and typically within their family.
These figures are very rough in that jurisdictions vary a lot in how they concentrate on reports of juvenile sex offenders. However, this is research that has gone back 50 years, but the surge in interest did not occur until the 1980s due to the surge in juveniles being entered into sex offender treatment programs.
While most juvenile sex offenders are teens, there is a small percentage that is under the age of 12. This group has been the focus of educators, clinicians, and public safety offices because they tend to not be declared delinquent like older offenders. These young people are considered to have sexual behavior issues. Not all of these cases come to the attention of the police because they are usually handled in other ways.
But when criminal charges are brought, it is important that the child is defended. The reason is because not all children who offend become adult offenders, so their future depends on whether or not they are tried as a child and determining if the charge does have merit. False accusations do happen among the juvenile population as well. There is also the fact that young children abusing other children may be an indication that the child offender is being abused by someone older than them or they had been abused in the past. That is not always the case, but this does seem to be a common theme.