A 12-year-old boy was caught in the act of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old female acquaintance by the victim’s 16-year-old brother, who had arrived home and observed the juveniles in the act. The 12-year-old juvenile suspect, in addition to sexually assaulting the victim, had beaten her with the heel of a shoe that was nearby. The victim was almost unconscious when the police arrived.
Following the incident, the juvenile was arrested and detained by local police on the following charges:
The juvenile suspect was a latchkey kid, a child who returns from school to an empty home, from a single-parent home. His mother works from 2 p.m–11 p.m. Monday through Friday, so the juvenile is often alone for hours upon his return from school.
After a preliminary examination, the juvenile suspect explained that the victim purchased the marijuana and the alcohol earlier that same day. The juvenile explained that the victim had invited him to her house because they had “been liking each other” for a long time. Further, the juvenile explained that the alcohol and drugs were in the home when he arrived. He said that he and the victim began by smoking marijuana and drinking beer before they began kissing and fondling one another. Next, according to the juvenile suspect, they started to have what he described as consensual sex. After a short while they were interrupted by the victim’s brother, who had come home from work. The victim’s brother then called the police to report the incident.
The juvenile had prior detentions for violation of curfew, truancy, and attempted sexual battery. No further explanations are given.
Write an essay from the perspective of each of the following.
Social norms are a mix of informal—often unspoken—rules, guides, and standards of behavior. These nonlegal rules and obligations are followed and fulfilled in part because failure to do so brings upon the transgressor such social sanctions as induced feelings of guilt or shame, gossip, shunning, ostracism, and not infrequently, violence (O’Donnell, 2007).
Some states include status offenders in the same category as juvenile delinquents. Other states place status offenders into the position of children, juveniles, or minors in need of supervision.