Acworth Ga, is a sleepy community some 30 miles from Atlanta, however it has been rudely awoken and is the centre of much media attention right now. Three young boys aged 8 and 9 are currently sitting in a juvenile detention centre facing rape charges. This stems from an alleged attack on an 11 year old girl last Thursday. The girl told investigators that she had been playing with the boys earlier. The three boys “pulled her into a wooded area, where one of the boys raped her”.

The three boys made their first court appearance yesterday in Cobb County Juvenile Court, the press were not permitted in the hearing, and the judge not surprisingly has slapped a gag order on the case.

Eyewitnesses reported that the three boys appeared wearing blue jailhouse jumpsuits and were shackled! To this reporters mind this does seem a trifle melodramatic.

The gag order extends to both the lawyers and families involved.

Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head said the boys could not be charged with felony crimes because of them being younger than 13, but could be tried for alleged delinquent acts that could place them in a juvenile facility for up to five years.

The next step will be for the court to schedule a hearing to determine how to proceed in the case, Head said.

Needless to say the press were not very happy about being excluded from the hearing, and will no doubt be exploring legal avenues to obtain access to future developments.

Simon Barrett

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