Q: Our13 year old son (who we’ve adopted out of foster care at age 5) has raped our two daughters age 10 and 3.
He has been charged with 21 counts of rape and sodomy between the two victims. County attorney representing my daughters states he will most likely get 6 months or less of treatment/incarceration. He has already admitted to his crimes to police. County attorney is going to reduce charges to gain a plea deal. We are 1 1/2 weeks from pre-trial. I want a longer sentence for him. This feels like he’s getting away with life altering crime. I want him to turn his life around and 3-6 months in a treatment facility won’t do that. What can I do? How harshly can a 13 year old be punished for rape? Can I hire my own more aggressive lawyer to represent my daughters and get a longer punishment?
A: You can hire an attorney, in Utah victim's of crimes have a right to be heard. One thing you should know is that the juvenile justice system sentences offenders for different purposes that adults. In the District court, a criminal sentence is meant to serve retribution or punishment among other goals. In juvenile system, criminal sentences are meant to help the juvenile rehabilitate.
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