WASHINGTON — A Montgomery County, Maryland, judge has kicked back to juvenile court the case of a second teen charged with rape in a series of attacks on younger teammates in a high school locker room.
Kristian Lee, 15, and three other classmates were indicted and charged as adults with multiple counts of rape, attempted rape and conspiracy to commit rape in the Oct. 31 attack inside the junior varsity locker room in Damascus, Maryland. A fifth teen was charged as a juvenile.
The judge’s ruling means Lee’s case will now be heard in juvenile court.
Charging documents said that ahead of the JV football team’s last practice, Lee and four others sought out four of their freshman teammates one by one, held them down and assaulted them with a broomstick. All four of the victims are 14 years old.
Last week, a judge ruled that 15-year-old Will Daniel Smith’s case also be moved back to juvenile court.
That ruling came after a review from the county’s Department of Juvenile Services, which examined the police report and interviewed the teen and his mother.
The department bases its review on factors such as age, mental and physical health, the nature of the crime and amenability of treatment.
Juvenile court provides more privacy to defendants, and the sentences are generally lighter.
Maryland state law requires anyone over the age of 14 charged with first-degree rape to be charged as an adult, but juvenile defendants are entitled to what are called waiver hearings before a Circuit Court judge to kick the case back to juvenile court.
Lawyers for some of the teens charged have said the incident amounted to hazing that went to an extreme, and that “brooming” was a tradition on the team.