"The 16-year-old girl was visibly intoxicated, her speech slurred, when a drunk 16-year-old boy sexually assaulted her in a dark basement during an alcohol-fueled pajama party in New Jersey, prosecutors said.
The boy filmed himself penetrating her from behind, her torso exposed, her head hanging down, prosecutors said. He later shared the cellphone video among friends, investigators said, and sent a text that said, 'When your first time having sex was rape.'
But a family court judge said it wasn’t rape. Instead, he wondered aloud if it was sexual assault, defining rape as something reserved for an attack at gunpoint by strangers.
He also said the young man came from a good family, attended an excellent school, had terrific grades and was an Eagle scout. Prosecutors, the judge said, should have explained to the girl and her family that pressing charges would destroy the boy’s life.
So he denied prosecutors’ motion to try the 16-year-old as an adult. 'He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college,' Judge James Troiano of Superior Court said last year in a two-hour decision while sitting in Monmouth County.
Now the judge has been sharply rebuked by an appeals court in a scathing 14-page ruling that warned the judge against showing bias toward privileged teenagers."