A 6-year-old Grant County boy has been accused of first-degree sexual assault after playing “doctor” with two 5-year-old friends. Now, a federal lawsuit has been filed against the prosecutor, who attorneys said is trying to force the boy to admit guilt.
The boy’s parents had planned to speak with WISC-TV on Monday to discuss the emotional toll the prosecution has taken on their son. But the prosecutor, Grant County District Attorney Lisa Riniker, on Monday morning asked a judge for a gag order in the case and was granted it. The gag order prohibits the boy’s parents from talking about the case.
But the attorneys for the parents in the federal suit, which names Riniker as a defendant, aren’t included in the gag order, and they spoke with WISC-TV from Chicago. Attorneys for the parents of the 6-year-old, who is being referred to as “D,” said that Riniker has gone too far by bringing a felony sex charge against a first-grader for touching a 5-year-old girl inappropriately while playing doctor last fall…
Cooper and attorney David Sigale filed the federal suit last week, alleging that Riniker wants D to sign a consent decree admitting some level of guilt…
Cooper and Sigale said they are prepared to present evidence that D has been psychologically harmed by the court proceedings and is terrified of going to jail.”She (Riniker) bypassed the parents and sent a 6-year-old boy a summons, on which is a threat that the 6-year-old will go to jail for failure to appear,” Cooper said.
And the kicker:
In justification for the charge, Riniker is quoted in the lawsuit saying “the Legislature could have put an age restriction in the statute … the legislature did no such thing.”
Remember this the next time a legislator proposes some broadly-written new law, and argues that we needn’t worry about worst-case scenarios because prosecutors would never charge anyone in those cases.
(Hat tip: Walter Olson.)