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10:42 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

County attorney wants three teens accused of rape to be tried as adults

PRESCOTT - The Yavapai County Attorney's Office has requested that Juvenile Court Judge Anna Young order three Verde Valley teens charged with kidnap and sexual assault be transferred to adult court.

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, one of the teen boys asked a 15-year-old Cottonwood girl if she wanted to hang out Saturday, Jan. 31. When she agreed, he and two other boys picked her up at her house and they went to a wooded area where they told her an outdoor social event was planned.

No event was held. Instead, the girl was allegedly restrained and sexually assaulted by the three teens, according to the sheriff's office.

The three boys - two are 16 and one is 17 - were in Juvenile Court Thursday before Judge Young. They are scheduled for a detention hearing next Thursday, Feb. 19, and a transfer hearing a week afterward on Feb. 27.

Arizona law requires that certain juvenile cases must be filed directly into adult court, according to Chief Deputy County Attorney Dennis McGrane. Those include offenses such as murder, armed robbery and forcible sexual assault.

McGrane explained that when juveniles are tried in adult court, they must be "separated by sight and sound" from adult inmates in the county jail. Even though that was part of the original plan for the Camp Verde Detention Center, it has never been implemented because there are so few such transfer juveniles in Yavapai County.

Juvenile Yavapai County inmates in the adult system are currently housed in the special facility in Coconino County that provides for sight and sound separation from adults, and facilities for education and security.