Judge To Decide If 9-Year-Old Faces Rape Trial

Another hearing is scheduled in November in the effort to determine whether a 9-year-old boy can stand trial in the alleged gang-rape of an 8-year-old Liberian girl in Phoenix, Arizona.

The boy cried in court Monday as his schoolteacher testified that he rarely did his homework and often got into fights. The 9-year-old is one of four young Liberian boys facing charges.

Monday's hearing was to designed to help Judge Dawn Bergin decide if the 9-year-old is competent to stand trial. Two mental-health experts found that he is not. The next hearing is Nov. 18.

A 14-year-old is charged as an adult, a 13-year-old is undergoing a court-ordered process intended to make him competent to stand trial, and another 9-year-old has been ruled incompetent. That boy is also undergoing classes to teach him about the court system and become competent to stand trial.

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  • by BIGHOUSE Location: EVERYWHERE on Oct 3, 2009 at 01:08 PM
    If something is not done now he'll grow up and do it again and then what.He'll think that this is OK(I GOT AWAY WITH IT WHEN I WAS YOUNGER)If this boy can do grown up things he can do grown up time.If he is fit to rape he is fit to be tried.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Sep 30, 2009 at 09:39 AM
    Of course he isn't going to be tried as an adult. But I think he should face the music and stand trial. His older peers had a strong influence on him, I'm sure. When you're that age, you would go through great lengths to win the acceptance of your older peers, who in a nine year old boys eyes, is a huge age difference. He needs to learn that what he did is wrong and he needs to be put on probation with close supervision. His parents should also be evaluated. Typically parents of children this young know where they are, who they are hanging out with, and what they are doing. He doesn't need to get off easy just because he cries.
  • by Ashley Location: Greenville on Sep 30, 2009 at 05:31 AM
    Thanks, WITN, for updating this story and including more info.
  • by Mark Location: Bath on Sep 30, 2009 at 03:23 AM
    The girl, and all 4 boys, were from Liberia. They were raised in a war torn country where they were exposed to gang rape and other unimaginable crimes on a daily basis. Yes, this happened in Phoenix, but it shouldn't reflect on the children of OUR country nearly as much as everyone seems to think. It's horrible in every way. But, it didn't happen because of the lax morals in the USA. Maybe this is another good reason to tighten our immigration laws.
  • by sam Location: greenville on Sep 29, 2009 at 09:27 PM
    if you want to live in a peaceful world elimanate the problem now.all the help in the word dose not work .prisonis full of repeated help. stop wasting our tax dallors. who cares how old he is get rid of him before he grows up to be another charles manson or someone worse.dont let him grow up to be a killer as well.
  • by Bob Location: Belhaven on Sep 29, 2009 at 06:49 PM
    This is just sad, I feel for the little girl the most! This may be the way they punish women in Liberia for what they consider wrong or disrespectful behavior, but the boys are now living in the U.S. and if they wish to live here then they need to follow U.S. laws and customs. If they went to school, then they should know this type behavior is not acceptable. Their parents should also be held accountable for not teaching them how people are suppose to behave in the U.S.! Women are not suppose to be slaves to men in this country and be treated any way a man wishes, they are not property!
  • by nancy Location: nebraska on Sep 29, 2009 at 05:41 PM
    how does a child of 9 years old know anything about sex..where was the adults at when all this was going on...how do you pushiment this child.this goes on alot,,, maybe he learnt something like this from home.a kid is akid till he raeches 13 years old,,may somebody smarter than us do the right thing for all that is involved...
  • by e Location: gville on Sep 29, 2009 at 04:26 PM
    At 9 you might know right from wrong....but you still don't fully understand the damages and consequenses of your actions. He should be severely reprimanded...but not tried as an adult! And the whole community needs educating!! This is the social and religious background of their native country. If there the girl would be killed for dishonoring her family in most similar cases!
  • by American Biker on Sep 29, 2009 at 04:10 PM
    How in the hell do you "Make Someone Competent" God, please Help Our American Legal System.......
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Sep 29, 2009 at 03:47 PM
    What they did is inexcusable for anyone. BUT! Have everyone forgotten the original story here? The parents of this little girl said she brought it on herself. Are the boys the only ones that need to be in court or not?

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