POSTED: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 12:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 12:46pm
MARRERO, LA (WDSU) — Two teenage boys, ages 14 and 15, have been charged with rape after investigators said they had sex with a 12-year-old girl in a bathroom at Marrero Middle School last Thursday, Feb. 23.
"In the end, the victim admitted it was consensual, as well as the two alleged perpetrators," said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.
However, in the eyes of the law, no one younger than 13 years old can legally consent to sex. Based on her age, Normand said, the two boys were booked into jail on aggravated rape charges after consultation with the district attorney.
"We were able to pull video footage to help support or confirm the stories that were being told by all involved," Normand said.
Dr. Morgan Feibelman, a child psychiatrist, said the incident highlights the need for open lines of communication between children and their parents or teachers.
"I think it's important to realize that children and teens do have sexual feelings," Feibelman said. "They need to know good boundaries for those feelings, a way to channel and have people to talk about it when they have questions."
While there needs to be accountability, according to Dana Kaplan, of Juvenile Justice, officials within the criminal justice system should keep in mind one thing.
"Certainly, it seems like there needs to be some significant steps taken, but it sounds like all three are juveniles and should be treated as such," Kaplan said.
A representative said the Jefferson Parish School System will work with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office throughout the course of the investigation.