Teen Rape Suspect Will Stay In Detention For Now

By Guy Leonard, County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Nov. 6, 2008)—Circuit Court Administrative Judge Karen H. Abrams has denied the petition of a 16-year-old juvenile charged with the second-degree rape of a 12-year-old girl to have a hearing challenging the legality of his detention.

The denial of the writ of habeas corpus came down from Abrams’ office before the hearing was scheduled to take place Nov. 3.

Kevin J. McDevitt, defense attorney for John K. Edison, Jr., said the next step will be more motions hearings and then on to a trial.

He said his juvenile client remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Adult Detention Center in Leonardtown.

“My client maintains his innocence and is looking forward to his day in court,” McDevitt said in response to Abrams’ ruling.

Edison is accused of removing the clothing of his alleged victim and forcibly having sex with her back in July; he was also charged with assaulting the victim with a belt.

In charging documents filed by detectives against Edison, the victim stated she did not want to have sexual contact with him.

Edison faces 20 years in prison for the second-degree rape charge against him as well as 20 years for the charge of second-degree sex offense.

Retired Circuit Court Judge Marvin S. Kaminetz ruled in the final days of October that despite the potential benefits Edison could receive from a treatment program with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the seriousness of the charges against Edison merited his being held for trial in the circuit court.

In the aftermath of Edison’s arrest in July, the defense filed a motion for an emergency bond hearing in late August, arguing there was evidence showing Edison could have had the charges against him thrown out, but that motion was denied.

Edison’s parents and family picketed outside the Circuit Court in Leonardtown in August protesting the detention of their son when the rape charge against him was replaced with a criminal summons.

Edison was twice denied bond in county District Court, back during the summer, as the judge there believed there was probable cause to hold him in detention.

In McDevitt’s motion for a writ of habeas corpus, and in his arguments before Judge Kaminetz in October, he claimed there was a lack of physical injuries visible on the victim, to which the doctor who examined the victim testified.

But, Judge Kaminetz said that in such cases evidence of physical injury was not the only measure of whether a victim had been assaulted.

Court records show that Edison is scheduled for trial in mid-December. He has also been charged with a fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault.

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