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Special needs student accused of rape was on probation for 2010 rape

Juvenile cases can be particularly difficult cases to deal with because of the numerous concerns involved. There is, on the one hand, the desire to give young people a second chance and the desire to help them rehabilitate, yet there is also the desire to teach them a valuable lesson that will make an impression upon them and potentially set the course of their life straight.

On Monday, District Attorney Hillar Moore III announced that an 18-year-old Tara High School student who has been accused of raping a 14-year-old classmate on February 16 had been on probation for a 2010 rape. The young man apparently received a juvenile life sentence for the 2010 rape, which was later suspended in favor of supervised probation.

Prosecutors have reportedly declined to try the young man as an adult because, he being a special needs student, they had competency concerns. The specific charge the young man received as a result of the 2010 incident was aggravated rape, though he eventually pleaded guilty to the reduced charged of simple rape. The charge was reduced on the understanding that he would be taken into the state's custody.

As part of the deal, the young man was scheduled to undergo a psychosexual risk assessment and psychological evaluation, which his defense team opposed. Prosecutors had concerns about the young man's risk to others if he were to live in society, but his attorneys felt he should be given the opportunity to show he was capable of living a normal life in society.

The young man's recent charge came after he allegedly raped a classmate behind the curtains of an auditorium at Tara High School.

The District Attorney's office will reportedly be filing a motion to revoke the young man's probation based on the recent arrest.

Source: The Advocate, "Teen rape suspect was on probation," Robert Stewart, February 23, 2012.

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