Juvenile Sex Crimes in Utah

Sodomy | Sexual Abuse of a Child Attorney

Children commit crimes on children more often than perhaps realized.  Such acts are generally perpetrated by an older child on a younger child.  Sometimes, the crimes are committed within the same family.  Parents typically know nothing about a sex crime committed by their child until after it has been going on for a long time or much time as passed since it happened.  In such situations the family is brought under significant stress.  Added to that stress is the uncertainty of what is going to happen in court.

We defend juveniles all over the state against allegations involving sex crimes. Put our knowledge to work for you by calling us at 801.413.1753

Sexual Behavior Risk Assessment (SBRA)

Often times there is no issue as to whether the crime was committed.  In such cases the juvenile can “admit” to the allegations.  It is not like adult court where you are either found guilty or not guilty.  Juveniles admit or deny allegations.  When a serious sex crime is admitted by the juvenile the court typically will want the child to do a sexual behavior risk assessment with a qualified psychologist.  Sometimes the SBRA is done even prior to the time the juvenile admits or denies if the juvenile decides to take that route.

The SBRA incorporates several different psychological tests administered by a psychologist to determine whether the child is high, moderate, or low risk of committing similar offenses in the future.  The court gives great weight to the findings of an SBRA in determining how the child should be sanctioned.  The SBRA will assign a NOJOS risk level to the juvenile.  NOJOS stands for Network on Juveniles Offending Sexually and it includes eight (8) levels of risk:

  1. Level 1 – In home out-patient psychosexual education
  2. Level 2 – In home out-patient sex-specific psychotherapy
  3. Level 3 – Sex-specific day treatment
  4. Level 4 – Sex-specific proctor/foster home and outpatient sex-specific psychotherapy
  5. Level 5 – Sex-specific group home or sex-specific independent living and sex-specific treatment
  6. Level 6 – Sex-specific residential intensive and sex-specific treatment
  7. Level 7 – In-patient psychiatric and sex-specific treatment enhanced
  8. Level 8 – Secure care and sex-specific treatment enhanced

The higher the level the more intensive the treatment and therapy as well as the greater likelihood that the juvenile will be required to go to detention/a secure facility (e.g. juvi jail).

Sanctions

In juvenile sex crime cases the court does not sentence the child because there is technically no criminal conviction in juvenile court.  A minor can only be convicted of a crime if he is tried as an adult.  Nonetheless, even though the child cannot be criminal sentenced he can be sanctioned.  Sanctions for serious sex crimes generally includes NOJOS treatment and therapy, fines, community service, formal probation, and a multitude of prohibitions put in a safety plan to ensure the child does not reoffend.

If your child is facing a sex crime allegations in Utah’s juvenile court system, call our lawyers for a free consultation.