In upstate New York, Brasher Falls, a 7-year-old boy, has been formally charged with rape as of March 23rd.
In New York, a seven year old is considered a juvenile, but the age may be moved to twelve in the near future.
The incident was reported to have taken place during Thanksgiving. Officials were slow to formally charge the child because they were conducting an investigation of the case. Through their findings, they are charging the boy with third degree rape. Third degree rape entails that the victim can prove that non-consensual intercourse took place, whereas second-and first-degree rape entail the victim was helpless as well. The boy’s charge carries out up to a five-year sentence if proven guilty.
The case will be taken up in family court. No comments have been released from the kid or his family, though his attorney said, “I don’t think you even could really realize what you’re doing at seven years old. So, I think it’s absurd to charge a seven year old with rape.”
If charged and proven guilty, this boy will be the youngest person to be charged with rape in the United States. The current kids who hold that shame participated in rape together, they were nine and ten. This case took place in 2015 when the boys raped an eight year old girl. In 2016, an eleven year old boy became Britain’s youngest rapist, abusing his nine year old sister. As startlingly younger boys are being charged with rape, one question remains, why? According to senior medical writer, Daniel DeNoon, “boys are starting puberty up to two years earlier than decades ago”. He also noted that boys, on average, are entering puberty at the average age of 10. Healthline states that girls are starting puberty around the ages of nine and eleven. As children are starting puberty earlier than ever before, it has doctors wondering why?
Doctors have opted to take a more psychological approach to answering this question. Many have, thus, speculated that earlier puberty is due to social structure and influence; Kids are getting phones, technology, and access to the internet at a much younger age than before. As technology grows so does pop culture. Pop Culture grew when the radio came out, it grew when TV went out, and it grew even more when phones evolved into smartphones. In 1953 Playboy just began and by 1972 Playboy would reach its high point of 7.2 million copies sold in November. Today, every second 28,258 people are watching porn on the internet. So, it goes without a doubt that society has become more sexualized. With the ease of access on the internet, it is easy for a kid to intentionally or accidentally make his/her way onto an adult website. Furthermore, the prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully develop until 25 years of age. In 1999 the National Center for Biotechnology Information found 72% of fifth and sixth grade teachers taught a form of sex education in their schools.
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ARTICLE: SAM OBERENDER
FBA US NEWS EDITOR: CARSON WOLF
PHOTO CREDITS: RARE.US