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Can a 6 year old commit sexual assault?


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  #1  
May 4th, 2011, 01:35 PM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
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Case asks: Can a 6-year-old commit sexual assault?

A little graphic, when describing what the boy did, just a warning.

I think some exploration and "playing doctor" is normal, but this went over the line a bit. However, I don't think criminal charges are the answer.
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  #2  
May 4th, 2011, 02:11 PM
BittyBugsMama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Didn't read the article - but no, I don't think a 6 year old can be charged with sexual assault.
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  #3  
May 4th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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My children aren't this age yet so I don't really have any experience with children at this age, however, it seems to me that six is awfully young to knowingly sexually abuse someone. And if he doesn't have female siblings I can see where he'd be curious. I don't know that that's going to make him a sexual predator years from now and I can't see what pressing charges is going to solve. Although I'd admit that as a mother of girls, if I experienced this, I would be mortified.

This is a guide to "sexual development and behavior in children"

http://nctsn.org/nctsn_assets/pdfs/c...ndbehavior.pdf

And here's an article implying that children at this age are curious about 'parts':

Child Sexual Behaviors: What Is Considered "Normal" Sexual Development and Behavior? | Articles

Quote: Even in the earliest of days, babies and toddlers touch and rub their own genitals, and even as infants boys experience erections. By early school age (5-7), children are interested in body parts and functions. Some sexual play may begin, and concepts of love and affection begin to develop, evolving into behaviors and questions that continue developing into later childhood (8-9 years old).
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  #4  
May 4th, 2011, 02:17 PM
*Jennifer*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My question is how did this 6 year old know to do what is described in the article? Oh and to the original question, I do not think a 6 year old should be charged with sexual assault.
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  #5  
May 4th, 2011, 02:44 PM
Israeljustice's Avatar I'm a yankee doodle dandy
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[QUOTE=*Jennifer*;23814948]My question is how did this 6 year old know to do what is described in the article? [QUOTE]

I agree 100% how would a 6 year old know to do what was described? I think some type of intervention needs to be done before branding him a sexual offender, or charging him with charges that are going to stick with him for the rest of his life! He is 6 years old, and unless he's been shown, or told what anything sexual is, he wouldn't know. I think they need to dig deeper into his family life find out if it's not something steming from what he's seen or heard.
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  #6  
May 4th, 2011, 02:53 PM
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Hopefully this doesn't come across sick, but that is an interesting article.(not the offense, the article and the entire case as a whole)

On one hand they simply want to get the boy help he, quite clearly, needs. Although I don't think it's simply for what he did, he also has a behavioral issue to contend with and that may play a large role as well. There very well could be more to the story with the boy as well. On the other hand, letting him go without any sort of "punishment" as it were, doesn't seem like the best option either. So they need to find a middle ground. Not just for the boy, but for the girl who was penetrated. Sorry I don't mean to be crass here but, that *is what happened, whether or not the boy realizes what he did, it *is what he did.

As for the actual question " can a 6 yr old commit sexual assualt". Yes they most certainly can, just as someone who has the mentality of a 6 yr old *can. The question really shouldn't be whether or not the child *can as the answer is pretty obvious that a child can have that ability. You don't have to fully understand an action to be capable of it. The question should be whether or not the child *DID*, and also whether or not he understood what he did. I would imagine any sort of issue, like this, would be an individual case that needs individual attention and consideration. At the same time, something like this could set a precedent too. Sexual assault in and of itself isn't even as cut and dry as "could he/she have done it", so adding in the immaturity, age, behavioral issues and anything else that would separate one person from another, and you have a very unique case.
It will be interesting to see where the case actually goes.

The family DID say they tried to work things out with the boy's family but found unsatisfactory results, which although seems rather vague it tends to make me wonder if this boy's parents actually even care about what he did, could potentially do if help isn't sought(whatever help may be best for *him that is), or what that little girl may think of the entire situation.
I would think a parent would put a lot of thought into something like this before even pursuing legal action like this.
I would hate to be either parent, of course, but I can't help but wonder what this boy's parents thought was appropriate if the end result was the boy being taken to court. It seems they wouldn't even *talk with the girls family. That tells me there is more than meets the eye to this case and perhaps the legal route *is the best solution for this boy. I don't think labeling him as a potential sexual predator is a necessary step right now, but again, I feel as if there is a lot of information missing here. There very well may be a reason someone would lean that way in a case like this. The whole boy's parents not wanting to talk thing really bothers me and makes me wonder if perhaps this wasn't the first time he's had an issue, of some sort. Maybe that's why those closely involved in the case would lean that direction. I don't really know.
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  #7  
May 4th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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I have a 6 (almost 7) year old, and she knows what people's private areas are. I would be very surprised if she would purposely touch someone in their private area.

Is he a sex offender? No of course not. I think they need to follow through with the things they said they were going to do with the family in the article. They didn't mention who he lives with, mom? dad? both?
The daycare said the never behaved inappropriately, but the sitters said he did. BUT what would a pair of 17 year old sitters have to gain from a 6 year old's court case. Not like they can sue for even emotional damage or anything. Maybe it's one of these girls that taught him this stuff and they are trying to cover for it.

One thing that is interesting is what IS the age you should be able to be charged with assault? 10? 12? 17? I just ask this because we had an incident last summer where I caught the neighbor kid (just in time) playing truth or dare with my girls and another child, and she told them to touch each other's privates. She was 9. Like I said I caught it in time and OF COURSE had another talk about our personal space and private areas with my girls and talked to this kids' mom, but it didn't even cross my mind to call the police. Maybe if something had actually happened I guess.
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  #8  
May 4th, 2011, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
"The girl told her mother they were playing 'butt doctor' "

"He said the boy had several enemas and other procedures for a medical problem before the incident with the girl."
Personally, these 2 statments right here speak volumes to me. It sounds like he was re-enacting things that have happened in his life, there is a good chance he didn't even realize there was anything wrong with it. Not saying i approve, or would not freak out if it was my daughter, because i most certainly would. In my opinion he probably needs someone to talk to in order to work out how he feels about these "procedures" and to know why it is not ok to "show" other kids these things.
(I know my daughter likes to pretend to do blood draws on everyone, it's her way of working through the reasons and fear of the blood draws, a lot different then "playing butt doctor" but still simmilar concept)
As for the baby sitter part, i can understand grabbing the breasts, i've seen a lot of kids do that. However, the stripping naked and rubbing himself on their legs, that seems very inappropriate for his age to me.
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  #9  
May 4th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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I don't see how criminal charges would help this boy, but there needs to be more investigation into what is going on at home. The "butt doctor" thing could have been just reenacting what he experienced at the doctor, but not the rubbing himself all over the baby-sitters' legs. He is either viewing things he shouldn't or someone at home may be abusing him IMO. Additionally, bipolar disorder can sometimes present with hypersexuality in children, even though it can't be diagnosed until much later. Whatever the reason, it needs to be figured out before this boy actually does become a predator.
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  #10  
May 4th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Those two statements are exactly what I was going to comment on, MLMB. Not to mention, the girl told her parents and authorities that he only touched her on the outside of her body. Her mother is the one who has alleged that the daughter was penetrated.

The article states that the child also has developmental delays and he lacks the mental capacity of an average six year old.

I do not agree with the efforts to pursue criminal charges against this child. I also fail to understand why getting him professional help to address the alleged behaviors is contingent upon a sexual assault conviction. Furthermore, I think it is appalling that it is even being considered to have him register as a sex offender.
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  #11  
May 4th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cereal Killer View Post
Those two statements are exactly what I was going to comment on, MLMB. Not to mention, the girl told her parents and authorities that he only touched her on the outside of her body. Her mother is the one who has alleged that the daughter was penetrated.

The article states that the child also has developmental delays and he lacks the mental capacity of an average six year old.

I do not agree with the efforts to pursue criminal charges against this child. I also fail to understand why getting him professional help to address the alleged behaviors is contingent upon a sexual assault conviction. Furthermore, I think it is appalling that it is even being considered to have him register as a sex offender.
You summed up my thoughts completely! If the parents were failing to get him help, I can see where CPS may need to get involved and develop a safety plan for the future and get them services that they may otherwise not have access to. Taking this through the courts is ridiculous, and labeling him a sex offender may be the most absurd thing I have ever heard.
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  #12  
May 4th, 2011, 05:06 PM
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After reading that article, I am of the opinion that this was not assault. I believe it was two kids who REALLY needed more supervision and possibly information than they were given. In addition, if the developmental disorder mentioned in the article impacted the 6 year old's judgment, he was possibly more emotionally immature than the 5 year old.
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  #13  
May 4th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cereal Killer View Post
Those two statements are exactly what I was going to comment on, MLMB. Not to mention, the girl told her parents and authorities that he only touched her on the outside of her body. Her mother is the one who has alleged that the daughter was penetrated.

The article states that the child also has developmental delays and he lacks the mental capacity of an average six year old.

I do not agree with the efforts to pursue criminal charges against this child. I also fail to understand why getting him professional help to address the alleged behaviors is contingent upon a sexual assault conviction. Furthermore, I think it is appalling that it is even being considered to have him register as a sex offender.
This.
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  #14  
May 4th, 2011, 05:43 PM
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A 6 y.o. can commit sexual assault, yes. Should they be charged with it? No. If a 6 y.o. is doing this, there is a reason- the kid has been abused. Whoever abused that kid should be found and tried.
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  #15  
May 4th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Yes a 6 year old can commit sexual assault, but highly doubt he knew what he was doing. Perhaps he found some dirty magazines or videos in his house and was mimicing them, or he's a victim of sexual assault or witnessing it. This child should not be charged. He should do a round of counseling and so should the boys parents (to make sure the boy didn't do these things because he witnessed it, had it done to him, etc).
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  #16  
May 4th, 2011, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayandsofiasmommy View Post
A 6 y.o. can commit sexual assault, yes. Should they be charged with it? No. If a 6 y.o. is doing this, there is a reason- the kid has been abused. Whoever abused that kid should be found and tried.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cereal Killer View Post
Those two statements are exactly what I was going to comment on, MLMB. Not to mention, the girl told her parents and authorities that he only touched her on the outside of her body. Her mother is the one who has alleged that the daughter was penetrated.

The article states that the child also has developmental delays and he lacks the mental capacity of an average six year old.

I do not agree with the efforts to pursue criminal charges against this child. I also fail to understand why getting him professional help to address the alleged behaviors is contingent upon a sexual assault conviction. Furthermore, I think it is appalling that it is even being considered to have him register as a sex offender.
to both of you. Exactly how I feel.
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  #18  
May 4th, 2011, 10:45 PM
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Sexual gestures toward the couch? What could a four year old do in the vicinity of or directly to a couch that would raise such red flags? My two year old, when he is sleepy, will "hump" the bed or the couch that he is laying on. My two year old and four year old are also "bonded" with their penis. They both grab it and pull it around whenever the opportunity presents itself, on the couch, near the couch, in the kitchen, in the bed, in the bathtub...

We also have three dogs. One of them is named Humperdink because of his propensity to hump the other dogs and he, of the three, just has the most notoriety of humping the others. All three of them do it regularly to one another. None of my children hump the dogs or anyone else, for that matter.

This is an intellectually disabled child. There are conflicting accounts of the interaction between the children. In no way do I think that there is justification for him to be charged with sexual assault, much less be registered as a sex offender.
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  #20  
May 5th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Nothing to add other than to ditto Stacey.
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