Prosecutors pursue second charge against Swiss boy

An 11-year-old Swiss-American boy faces another charge involving alleged sexual activity with his 5-year-old sister.

This content was published on November 5, 1999 - 13:38

An 11-year-old Swiss-American boy faces another charge involving alleged sexual activity with his 5-year-old sister.

Jefferson County Magistrate Marilyn Leonard ruled at the court in Golden, Colorado, Thursday that there is enough evidence to arraign the boy, known only as Raoul, on a charge of sexual assault in addition to an earlier charge of aggravated incest.

The boy will be arraigned on both charges Monday.

The case has caused outrage in Switzerland, where many people do not understand the perceived severity with which Raoul has been treated by the local U.S. justice and police authorities.

Many Swiss also feel that Raoul has been victimised for sexual behaviour not untypical for children of his age.

The Swiss foreign ministry has been flooded with protest calls and e-mails in the past weeks because of the case.

Thursday's hearing was a repeat of a preliminary hearing held October 19 which was rescheduled because of a tape recorder malfunction. Lawyers for the boy discovered a problem when they tried to get a copy of the proceedings.

The second charge stems from prosecutors having trouble establishing proof that there is at least a half-blood relationship between the boy and the girl, a requirement to prove incest, Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said.

Raoul appeared in court Thursday with at least two lawyers and his court-appointed guardian. A hearing held afterward on where to place the boy was closed to the media.

Raoul's lawyers were hoping the charges would be dropped and the boy allowed to go to Switzerland to join his family.

A neighbour says she saw the boy’s inappropriate contact and reported it to police.

“There is no evidence that any of the touching was for sexual gratification, which is an element of both charges,” said Arnold Wegher, one of the boy's lawyers.

Raoul’s parents maintain that Raoul pulled down his sister's panties to help her urinate.

The parents fled to Switzerland with their other three children shortly after Raoul was taken into custody at night. He was held without bond for six weeks in a juvenile detention centre until Leonard ruled last month that he be placed in a foster home and then in a residential treatment centre.

From staff and wire reports.

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