Aberdeen teen charged with rape to be tried as juvenile

The case of a 17-year-old Aberdeen boy charged with rape in February has been sent back to the juvenile court, where he will plead guilty to a second-degree rape charge.

Brandon Alexander Somerville, of the 700 block of Wineberry Way, was charged Feb. 7 with entering a girl's house and forcing her to have sex. He was 16 years old at the time.

He is charged with rape, fourth-degree sexual offense, second-degree assault and first-degree burglary.

A reverse waiver request in June to consider sending Brandon's case back to juvenile court was denied at that time.

"After carefully considering all the factors discussed in this report, it is the opinion of the Dept of Juvenile Services that this case is better suited to remain in the Adult Criminal Court," case management specialist William Conley wrote, according to online state court records.

But a July letter from Lisa Marts, of the Harford County State's Attorney Office, to Circuit Court Judge William Carr changed that under an agreement between the prosecutor and the defense lawyer.

"State would not oppose the reverse waiver motion filed by defense if the defendant agreed to plea responsible to the second degree rape charge," the court record said. "[Maryland Department of Juvenile Services] will do the needed placement study and the state will prepare the necessary juvenile petition and deal with all on 9/6/12."

In February, Judge John L. Dunnigan ordered the teenager held without bail.

Attorney Michael Mitchell told the court at that time that Brandon has no criminal record and pointed out the door to the home where the alleged rape occurred showed no signs of forced entry.

Somerville attends Aberdeen High School, Mitchell added, and works at Baltimore City summer camps during the summer months.

Assistant State's Attorney Kemba Lydia-Moore argued the alleged crime was "serious" because Somerville went to a juvenile girl's house and, after she slightly opened the door and asked him the leave, he allegedly forced his way inside.

Lydia-Moore said Somerville forced the girl to have sex with him, mentioning there was corroborating physical evidence.

After Dunnigan ordered Somerville to be held without bail, Dunnigan addressed the family, many of whom were in tears, as was Somerville, and mentioned a reversal.

Mitchell, the teenager's attorney, said they had already discussed a reversal to juvenile status.

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