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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Minors, Sibling Sexual Abuse

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Arizona

    Briefly -
    My 12 year old child recently molested my 4 year old child. I reported the situation to the police and they investigated it. The police report recommended the 12 year old child be charged with two class 2 SO felonies (13-1405 and 13-1410) and have referred the case over to the DA to determine if they will prosecute. I am currently awaiting the DA's response.

    My 4 year old just started receiving therapeutic services and my 12 child is no longer living in my home, but is now living full-time with their other biological parent. (Their biological parent and I have been divorced for years, we both have joint legal and joint physical custody, and I am remarried).

    Other things that might be important to note with the 12 year old are (1) they have a professionally diagnosed, specific learning disability and have been receiving supportive services for several years and (2) they have a professionally diagnosed, specific mental disorder diagnosis and have been receiving supportive therapeutic services for the past several years.

    My biggest questions revolve around what now...?

    1) Is it reasonable to expect that the 12 year old will be charged with something?
    a) What should I expect if they are charged?
    b) Would a public defender be provided for them? (Neither parent has the ability to pay for an attorney.)
    c) What could I expect my role be in the situation since I am the parent in common for both the offender and the victim?
    d) What could be the long term consequences of this, if they are adjudicated (sentencing, SO registration, records, etc.)?

    2) What should I expect if they are NOT charged?

    3) Pros/Cons of getting the 12 year old get into specific SO counseling before anything has been decided by the DA's office.

    Any advice is appreciated since I am in uncharted waters.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Minors, Sibling Sexual Abuse

    You absolutely need an attorney.

    This is way beyond the scope of an internet forum - even one as great as this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Minors, Sibling Sexual Abuse

    Thank you for your reply and I understand.

    Does anyone have any suggestions then on how to find an attorney that works in this area (and what is this area of legal specialization)?

    Also what kinds of questions to ask?

    And if there are any cost sensitive services out there? I'm a FT student so I have 0 income right now. Every dollar is being stretched, but I know that having $ impacts the kind of service I can get.

    Thank you again.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Minors, Sibling Sexual Abuse

    You should also place a call to the Arizona Sexual Assault Network at 480-831-1986. They will have a bank of resources for the victim, the offender, and you as the parent caught in the middle. They can get you in touch with local services and advocates who can assist in understanding the legal proceedings that will be coming up, assist in identifying qualified professionals to work with each of the parties involved, and work with the court advocates and Guardian ad Litems who might be appointed for both children.

    Although not unheard of, it would not be commonplace for the 12 year old to be "put away" in confinement for retribution purposes like an adult would. Much MORE commonly, he would likely be placed in an intensive live-in treatment program, assuming one exists in your community, or in some similar program where rehibilitation and counseling would be given the priority. Given his age, in other words, attempts would typically be made to counsel and assist him at rehibilitation BEFORE efforts to punish him. How long and to what extent that would continue would be evaluated over time and would depend on his response to whatever program he enters. Your local advocate will be the best person to advise what resources might be available in the immediate and surrounding communities, and whether those programs are something to which the court would send him or to which you could enroll him, as well as how the finances for such programs work (programs administered by the local juvenile corrections program might be free or low pay, as might local programs run by non-profit organizations, whereas private programs might be expensive, even WITH insurance, assuming that insurance might cover such things). Part of the DAs delay may be that THEY are also looking into alternatives and programs as mentioned above in order to bring a realistic recommendation to the court.

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