7-year-old charged with rape in New York – Yes, it’s possible

Per a WWNYTV March 29 report, a seven-year-old boy from Upstate New York has been charged with third degree rape.

The young Brasher Falls resident allegedly committed the crime on Thanksgiving and will probably be charged as a juvenile delinquent, pending a bill in the state legislature that would raise the age threshold for rape charges from seven to 12 in New York.

Anthony Martone, an attorney from Queens, called the case “absurd.”

“Instinctually, it shouldn’t happen that a seven-year-old – I don’t think you even could really realize what you’re doing at seven years old,” Martone old WWNYTV.

“So, I think it’s absurd to charge a seven-year-old with rape. They’d have to prove he actually physically committed this act, which to me it almost seems to be an impossibility,”

Some are outraged, insisting the charge must be frivolous.

“Can a seven-year-old even get it up,” asked the host of the YouTube channel TCB?

The answer to that question is moot. And yes, a seven-year-old is capable of committing rape based on what constitutes the crime.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s recently amended definition of rape is:

“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” 

The previous definition, which solely addressed male-to-female insertion without consent, was modified to include any gender of victim and perpetrator, not just women alleging rape by men. Hence, it covers female-to-male, female-to-female and male-to-male circumstances in which non-consensual penetration occurs.

In addition, it also recognizes that rape with an object can be as traumatic as penile/vaginal rape.

… And that might answer lingering questions involving the seven-year-old charged.

Obviously, rape is a very serious charge so it’s likely, assuming the alleged victim is also a child, her family believes considerable damage was done.

But, can a seven-year-old inflict an injury great enough to warrant a full-fledged rape charge?

If the boy is guilty of penetration, the justice system will make that determination. Keep in mind, the vaginal and anal regions of children are probably more susceptible to injury than adults.’ A seven-year-old, using an object like a stick, pencil or hairbrush, could probably inflict relatively serious harm on a victim the same age or younger.

Perhaps the bigger question is: How could such a young child even conceive of such a thing?

Guilty or not, it’s difficult to imagine how someone so young could be charged with such a hideous act. When I was that age, the thought of anyone at any age committing such a crime was unfathomable to me. At seven, most of us probably didn’t realize objects could be inserted anywhere but the mouth.

Should the New York State Legislature raise the age threshold for rape charges from seven to 12? If not, what would be a suitable punishment if the boy is found guilty of rape?

And if it’s determined the boy forced an object into the girl – whether it’s considered “rape” or not by the courts – should the state consider stripping his parents or guardians of custody? Certainly, in that situation, their level of parental fitness should be evaluated.