16-Year-Old Boy Charged as Adult In Rape Case

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 10, 2008

The teenage boy charged as an adult with raping a 12-year-old girl in his Great Mills home is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 5, court records show.

John K. Edison Jr., 16, was charged with second-degree rape and related offenses over the weekend. He was ordered held without bond Monday in the St. Mary's County Detention Center.

Edison is accused of pulling the 12-year-old into his room Saturday and raping her despite her attempts to fight him off, according to charging documents.

After the rape, Edison hit the 12-year-old with a belt, charging documents state.

Lt. Rick Burris, commander of the St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations, said the 12-year-old went to Edison's house with a teenage friend but did not know Edison. He said the girl's mother reported the rape, and Edison was charged as an adult "because it was a second-degree rape of a 12-year-old child."

Kevin J. McDevitt, Edison's defense attorney, said his client is innocent, and he plans to file motions to move the case to juvenile court. He said evidence produced at trial would show that the girl's story is inaccurate, but he declined to specify the nature of that evidence.

"He has done nothing wrong," McDevitt said. "Essentially what's going on in this case is a young girl got caught sneaking out by her parents over to his house, and she's scared, and that's the story that she gave."

McDevitt added that the 12-year-old gave Edison a hug before leaving his house.

According to charging documents, Edison gave "several variations of what happened" after initially stating he was not with the 12-year-old. He eventually changed that story, charging documents state.

Mike Kane, an assistant state's attorney in St. Mary's County, said Edison was charged as an adult because that is standard for crimes of a serious nature.

"I think by statute a case of that serious nature can begin in adult court," he said. "Whether it stays in adult court or gets waived to juvenile court is what comes next."

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