Wayne County Judge Rick Healy is set to determine the appropriate court jurisdiction for the cases of four Clyde-Savannah football players on December 6.
These decisions follow the recent indictments of the teens by a county grand jury. The players, two of whom appeared in court on Wednesday and the others on Thursday, are facing charges in connection with an alleged assault on a 14-year-old male in a locker room incident on October 31.
Three of the accused — aged 17, 16, and 15 — are charged with felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor charges of hazing and forcible touching. Additionally, a 16-year-old is charged with unlawful surveillance for reportedly recording the incident.
This week’s court proceedings mark the initial phase in deciding whether the defendants will be tried in the criminal court (Youth Part) system or in Family Court. Under New York’s “Raise the Age” legislation, the 15-year-old’s case will automatically be referred to Family Court.
The law, enacted in 2018 and 2019, raised the age at which a child can be prosecuted as an adult from 16 to 18 and impacts how juvenile cases are handled.
During Thursday’s court session, First Assistant District Attorney Christine Callanan expressed her intention to argue for at least one of the cases to be tried in criminal court, citing “extraordinary circumstances.”
The defendants, if tried as juveniles in Family Court, would have their records sealed and proceedings closed to the public.
Attorney Michael Schiano, representing one of the accused, urged the public to keep an open mind until the legal process unfolds.
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