Eighteen year old Joshua Rodriguez from Marblehead was arraigned in the Lynn District Court on charges that he raped three girls under the age of sixteen all within a six week period. According to reports, a 14 year old and a 15 year old complained that they were raped in December while another girl, also 14 told authorities that she was raped on February 4, 2009. At the arraignment the district attorney told the judge that on December 3, 2008 Rodriguez forced one of the victims into a bathroom and forcibly raped her. Another victim was raped in a car and threatened by the defendant afterwards. The third victim reportedly smoked marijuana with Rodriguez, passed out and awakened to the defendant on top of her fondling her genitals. Rodriguez is no stranger to the legal system. He has a prior breaking and entering charge, motor vehicle offenses and drug charges. Bail was set in the amount of $25,000.00.
Read Article: Rape Charges Pending Against Marblehead Teenager In Lynn
Typically when you hear about rape cases involving 18 year old males and 14 or 15 year old girls the charge will be rape of a child without force, commonly referred to as statutory rape. Not so in this case. These are forcible rape charges. While the potential sentence for both is the same, people convicted of forcible rape typically receive stiff state prison sentences. Rape of a child in Massachusetts is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 22A or Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 23. The former is rape with force, the latter is statutory rape.
From reading the article it seems like Rodriguez has a tough road ahead of him. Prosecutors in Massachusetts try to join cases like this for one trial to show motive or pattern. If judges permit the joinder defending these cases is extremely difficult. It is one thing to attack one victim through cross-examination or show inconsistencies in her story. It is another thing to try to do this to three people, all of whom claim to have been raped in separate incidents, on different dates and at separate locations. Cases like this usually get resolved through plea bargaining.
Attorney Stephen Neyman is a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer with nearly 22 years experience defending sex crimes. Our office has represented people charged with rape in Lynn, Salem Superior Court, Essex County and throughout Massachusetts. If you have been charged with a crime call our office at 617-263-6800 or contact us online.