Crime

Gag Order Silences Parents of Boy Charged With Sexual Assault for Playing Doctor

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WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Madison, reports that Grant County, Wisconsin, District Attorney Lisa Riniker, who charged a 6-year-old boy with first-degree sexual assault becaused he played doctor with a 5-year-old girl, has obtained a gag order that prohibits his parents, who have sued Riniker and two other county officials, from talking about the case. Iowa County Judge Bill Dyke issued the order last Monday, forcing the boy's parents to cancel a planned interview with WISC. The station spoke instead with their lawyers, who are not covered by the order:

"That behavior by a prosecutor is outrageous," said Christopher Cooper, an attorney for the boy's parents….

"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.

The attorneys said they have sought the opinion of many experts who said that children "playing doctor" is not a sex crime.

"[The experts say] a 6-year-old child is unable to intellectually and emotionally associate sexual gratification with the act that D has been accused of committing," Cooper said….

Repeated calls to Riniker and an attorney for [her] and two co-defendants have gone unanswered since Friday, WISC-TV reported.