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U.Va. Innocence Project and child advocacy group trying to free teen they say was wrongfully convicted of rape
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If the situation involving the boy and girl constituted any crime at all, it would be "at most" carnal knowledge, a misdemeanor, Block and Enright said. That law addresses sexual contact between a victim between 13 and 15 years old and a perpetrator less than three years older and "presumes a certain lack of capacity on both parties," Block said.
Sousa said since learning what actually happened, she doesn't support any criminal action.
The mother said she believes law-enforcement officials felt sorry for her daughter because of her condition and were "more forgiving of facts with her."
She also believes race was a factor. Her daughter is white; the boy is black.
But Sousa said the outcome of the case does not serve her daughter or the interest of justice, which is why she is trying to clear the boy's name.
"The fact of the matter is she needs to learn she needs to be honest and not do things that hurt other people," Sousa said of her daughter.
ADULT PRISON OR PLEA
Two weeks after the incident, Edgar Dulaney and his wife were notified by the prosecutor's office that it would seek to try their son as an adult. He said he was later told his son faced 25 years in an adult prison.
Knowing his son's gentle demeanor, age and that he had never been in trouble before, Dulaney said he didn't want him in an adult prison. So when Rafferty recommended he plead guilty instead, Dulaney said he saw no alternative despite complete confidence in his son's innocence.
"He was just 15 then. I said, 'We'll just take the deal and then I'll fight it after taking the plea.'"
On Aug. 22, 2007, the boy, who by then had turned 16, pleaded guilty to rape and breaking and entering. In exchange, prosecutor Olsen dropped an abduction charge and the possibility of adult prison but did ask that he be required to undergo sex-offender treatment and be placed on the sex-offender registry.
Teens convicted of sex offenses as juveniles are not automatically required to register as sex offenders. By law, the prosecutor must request it and a judge approve it.
On Sept. 19, 2007, the boy was given an "indeterminate" sentence and ordered both to undergo sex-offender treatment and register as a sex offender.