Pixabay | Sang Hyun Cho

Judge Says Teenage Rapist Should Get Lenient Sentence Due To His 'Good Family'

Okay, deep breaths, because this story is a doozy. To help alleviate some of the red-faced anger I know I felt upon hearing it for the first time, here's a spoiler: There's hope for a better outcome at the end.

However, this is not an easy story to tell or read, so be advised that there will be mention of teen sex and rape below.

The incident in question seems pretty clear cut.

The accused rapist and his victim (both 16 years old) were at a pajama party with tons of alcohol. Both were intoxicated, but in the video of the incident — taken by the assailant — it's clear that the girl can barely walk.

He led her to a basement gym, where he barricaded the door with a Foosball table, then proceeded to strip off her top and rape her from behind. He filmed the whole thing, later sharing it with his friends with the caption: "When your first time having sex was rape."

Since they are both minors, the victim is referred to only as "Mary" and the rapist as "G.M.C."

After G.M.C. left, Mary was found vomiting and was driven home by a friend's mom. In the morning, she told her mother that she thought something bad had happened.

If you wonder why they didn't go to the police right then... well, the rest of this story is why so many victims of rape don't report it.

Hearing rumors about a video, Mary confronted G.M.C. who denied recording anything.

Unsplash | Alex Nemo Hanse

Eventually, Mary was able to prove that he was lying and her mother went to the police to press charges in late 2017.

The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office called G.M.C.'s actions "sophisticated and predatory," recommending that he be tried as an adult for sexual assault.

"This was neither a childish misinterpretation of the situation, nor was it a misunderstanding. G.M.C.’s behavior was calculated and cruel."

New Jersey's juvenile system is meant to focus on rehabilitation, with the details kept private and more lenient sentences.

Unsplash | Pablo Padilla

Prosecutors wanted G.M.C. charged as an adult due to his clearly malicious intentions when filming and sharing video of the assault. The video has since been deleted by G.M.C. and anyone he shared it with.

However, Judge Troiano of the family court decided not to have G.M.C. tried as an adult.

Now, he didn't say G.M.C. wouldn't face juvenile punishments, but his reasoning for the decision is what makes it so awful.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Via The New York Times

Judge Troiano's argument is that being tried as an adult — thus, losing the anonymity of the juvenile system and possibly facing more serious sentencing — would destroy the boy's life.

G.M.C. is apparently from a good family, doing well at school, and has good prospects for post-secondary education. He's also an Eagle Scout.

Troiano's only concern for the victim seems to be whether or not she was intoxicated enough for it to count as rape.

According to his statements, Judge Troiano was splitting hairs between the definitions of "sexual assault" and "rape" in order to justify his decision.

To him, "rape" should involve multiple strangers forcing the victim into an abandoned building at gunpoint.

His decision manages to check all the boxes listed under "Problematic."

Twitter | @girlsreallyrule

At no time does he appear to consider the affects being raped, filmed, and then having that video shared around the neighborhood would have on a 16-year-old girl. Instead, he engages in a lot of the victim-blaming language that causes so many rapes to go unreported.

He completely dismisses the fact that G.M.C. literally called it rape when bragging to his friends.

So yeah, the whole thing sucks, but thankfully, Troiano doesn't have the final say on the matter.

A local appeals court has overturned his decision regarding how G.M.C. will be tried. In their written response, they state that Judge Trioano's decision went beyond simply deciding if the prosecutors had enough of a case to try it in adult court.

They warn the judge not to give into biases when considering cases of "privileged teenagers."

This is only making news now, because family court details are not normally made public.

Unsplash | Bill Oxford

However, appeals court cases are public.

G.M.C. will now stand trial before a grand jury facing criminal charges as an adult.

h/t: The New York Times