Attorney Wants Damascus High Hazing Case Shifted To Juvenile Court
Teens charged as adults in alleged rapes
An attorney for one of four Damascus High School students facing rape charges has filed a motion to move the case to juvenile court.
Five students were arrested after what authorities said was a junior varsity football team hazing incident on Halloween and they were initially charged as juveniles.
Charges against four of the students were amended by county prosecutors and they were charged as adults.
Attorney David Felsen, of Felsen & Sargent LLC, who represents Will Daniel Smith, 15, of Clarksburg, filed a motion on Dec. 6, 2018, to place the case in juvenile court and a judge is scheduled to review the request Friday.
Felsen declined to elaborate on the decision to file the motion.
The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the upcoming hearing.
Smith faces two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of attempted first-degree rape, and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape.
All four teens charged as adults have filed “reverse waiver” motions and the hearings for the other three students are scheduled in late February and early March.
Maryland law spells out five factors that judges are to consider when moving a case into juvenile courts, which can be closed to the public. They are age, mental and physical condition, amenability to juvenile treatment, nature of the offense and participation and public safety.
Each defendant charged as an adult is 15 years old. Maryland code states children 15 years old or younger are tried in juvenile court unless they’re charged with a capital offense.
The defendants were charged with second-degree offenses following their early November arrests until the charges were amended to first-degree offenses.
The 10-day jury trial for the teens is set for April 1.