TULSA, Okla. – A prosecutor has requested that four former Oklahoma high school football players be sentenced as adults if they are convicted on rape charges.
The Bixby High School students are accused in an attack on a 16-year-old boy with a pool cue last summer. The boys are charged as youthful offenders with second-degree rape by instrumentation and have pleaded not guilty. They are all aged 17 except one who is 16.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Adams asked the judge Tuesday to consider adult sentences, the Tulsa World reported. He's representing the state along with Rogers County District Attorney Matt Ballard and two of Ballard's assistant prosecutors.
"The state has good cause to believe that the defendants would not reasonably complete a plan of rehabilitation or the public would not be adequately protected should they be sentenced as youthful offenders, and therefore they should be sentenced in the adult system within the Department of Corrections," Adams wrote.
Defense attorney Paul DeMuro called Adams' motion "disgraceful."
"The state's allegation that it has 'good cause' to believe these kids can't be treated in the juvenile system and are a threat to public safety is totally unfounded," DeMuro said.
Defense attorneys last month requested that the students be certified as juveniles, hoping the case would be dismissed then refiled in juvenile court.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in court April 17.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com