A family court judge in New Jersey said that a boy accused of raping a 16-year-old girl while recording the incident on his mobile phone should be given leniency because he came from a “good family.”
Judge James Troiano said that the boy, who was only identified in court papers as “G.M.C.,” should not face trial as an adult after the incident, arguing that “he is clearly a candidate not just for college, but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.”
Prosecutors say G.M.C. was one of 30 youths who had gathered in a basement for a pajama-themed party in which some attendees were drinking. They allege that G.M.C. then filmed himself allegedly raping the girl and later shared the cellphone video with friends, along with the text: “When your first time having sex is rape.”
Prosecutors called G.M.C.’s actions “sophisticated and predatory,” saying that he later lied to the girl about the existence of the video while sharing it with others.
Troiano, however, said that the incident was not a “traditional case of rape,” that did not involve multiple men holding the victim at gunpoint.
Troiano’s remarks were highlighted in a sharp rebuke of his decision by the Superior Court of New Jersey’s appellate division. In their decision, the appellate court judges said that he had “decided the case for himself” rather than weighing the merits of allowing the prosecution to try G.M.C. as an adult.
With Troiano’s decision reversed, prosecutors told radio station New Jersey 101.5 that they intend to present the case to a grand jury now and if they receive an indictment, try G.M.C. in adult court.