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Accused Rapists Should Be Tried as Adults, Prosecutor Says

Father of one of the accused claims his son is being treated unfairly, pleads for his release from detention center.

The father of one of the men accused of raping a girl in 2011 vocally expressed his frustration Wednesday that his son and another man accused of the alleged assault remained in juvenile detention when they had only been charged.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have filed a motion to try the two Morristown men—who have not been named since they were juveniles at the time of the alleged incident—as adults. Morris County Superior Court Family Division Judge Michael Paul Wright is expected to hear from prosecutors and defense attorneys for the pair on Oct. 16 and decide whether to grant the request.

The two men, along with 19-year-old Tyrec Phillips—an adult at the time of the alleged incident who has appeared in adult criminal court—are accused of giving a 17-year-old girl something to drink at a Hazel Street home in September 2011 that caused her to fall in and out of consciousness. The three then allegedly drove the unconscious girl to a secluded spot on Monroe Street, near Evergreen Cemetery, where the alleged sexual assault occurred.

Phillips was released Sept. 21 from jail on $100,000 bail—. Meanwhile, the two 18-year-olds currently being tried as juveniles have remained in juvenile detention for more than a month.

Unlike the maximum sentence of four years as juveniles the two men, if tried as adults, could face up to 20 years in prison.

"I think it is so unfair my son is being treated this way," the father said to the judge. "He is being punished on a mere accusation. I just don't like what's going on."

The father said, despite their names not being publicly released due to their juvenile status, "everyone knows. He's being maliciously [accused] in these papers," he said. "I would go so far as to say this is borderline racist. If these were white kids, they wouldn't be here."

Judge Wright, who like the father and those accused is black, said, "what I have before me is probable cause that your son has been involved in a heinous event."

As the father tried to again speak, the judge said, "stop talking."

"I'm trying to help you understand," he said. "Your son is not the first defendant to be charged and remain in custody."

Wright did note that "pre-adjudicative detention," the legal standard in Morris County, "troubles me."

"I have often and will continue to beg the powers-that-be for a home electronic detention program," he said, noting such a program currently exists as close as in Sussex County. "I think this is the type of case [that warrants it]. But, we don't have it."

Should circumstances change involving the two men leading up to the Oct. 16 waiver hearing, "I will of course revisit it at that time," the judge said.

Until then, "clearly my analysis of risk or harm outweighs the unfairness of pre-adjudicated detention," the judge said.

Cara DePalma September 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM
If an 18 year old can be drafted and sent to war, enlist and go to war and vote in elections, they are certainly grown up enough to take responsibility for actions that destroyed a girl's life. And if you don't think rape destroys the victim's life, volunteer with victims and you will change your tune.
Cara DePalma September 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM
And the stories around town are always true? How about the fact the cops intercepted phone calls where they boys admitted what they did?
Janet Blanchard September 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Stop judging people. Innocent until proven guilty, I understand that this father wants his son home. If it were my kids I would probably want the same. Stop always saying want you would or would not do, until you WALK in someone else's SHOES.
Small town girl September 29, 2012 at 03:28 PM
"The father said, despite their names not being publicly released due to their juvenile status, "everyone knows. He's being maliciously [accused] in these papers," he said. "I would go so far as to say this is borderline racist. If these were white kids, they wouldn't be here."" Really!! I am so sick of hearing these parents cry "Racist", is that the best you can come up with. Listen, if you had raised you son properly he would have never been in this predicament in the first place and if you have done the best you could and this happened, then help your son get help. I love my son and would do anything for him, except defend him if there was even a chance of him being guilty and there is a chance of guilt here. I raised my children from a young age, you are who you associate with, so choose your friends wisely or I will have to choose for you. Raising children starts at birth not after they get in trouble. "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." Colin Powell The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Colin Powell Gee! I don't think I would have ever heard this Great African American man, Colin Powell cry racist if one of his children were in trouble. Please! Stop with the color cards, the only place those are good are in a game of UNO.
Stephanie Lowder May 13, 2013 at 01:25 PM
By the way the news reporter also started a fight with that father who spoke out for his son. And every parent must defend their children until the true story if brought out. If your child did something and you know the story was not true you would be by their sides also. So GLASS HOUSE don't through stones.

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