A 17-year-old boy charged over an alleged gang rape of two girls might be tried as an adult, according to prosecutors.
On Wednesday, the teen faced the Adelaide Youth Court charged with two counts of rape over the alleged December incident and heard prosecution counsel were considering whether to have him tried as an adult.
“The matter is currently being reviewed by the director’s office, in conjunction with another two youths and a number of adults accused in this matter,” a police prosecutor said.
“We have provided material to the director’s office in anticipation of an opinion as to whether a section 17 application will be made.”
In South Australia, Section 17 of the Young Offenders Act allows a youth to be tried as an adult in cases of serious or repeat offending.
He asked for the matter to be adjourned after a date in March, where the adult co-accuseds would face a charge determination hearing.
“I think it’s appropriate the matter return upon the determination of the adults,” the police prosecutor asked.
“I would suggest that in the circumstances where there are adult accuseds involved, that determination be made as to what is happening with all accused and then determination made as to where those accuseds’ matters would play out.”
Seven arrests have been made, with six men facing rape charges, while police allege two men tried to pay off one of the victims.
The alleged incident occurred in the stairwell of a carpark off Hindley St – Adelaide’s main night-life strip.
The court previously heard video footage had emerged which called into question the issue of consent in the matter. That footage is yet to emerge before the court.
Another youth co-accused in the matter was recently granted bail with a curfew from 10pm – 6am.
On Tuesday, the 17-year-old’s defence lawyer, Scott Laidlaw, told the court he had no objection to an adjournment after the date in March, but asked the matter be listed for pre-trial conference in the Youth Court.
“We’re seeking a pre-trial conference; the matter is contested and there has been no resigning from that position,” Mr Laidlaw said.
“We ask that in this matter, in the circumstances where my client is not yet jointly charged, has not joined the adults, I say that, simply waiting for that application, if it comes, causes unnecessary delay.”
Magistrate Alison Adair remanded the youth on continued bail, reminding him to obey all bail restrictions.
He will face court again in March.
Story Credit: news.com.au