The prosecution of four Damascus High School football players accused as adults of sexually assaulting four teammates with a broomstick begins a critical phase Friday when a Maryland judge is expected to decide if Will Daniel Smith, 15, should be tried in adult court or be moved to juvenile court.
The venues are starkly different.
Adult courts produce a public record of the proceedings, and can yield long prison sentences. Juvenile court is geared toward rehabilitation, with punishments often imposed as probation with no public conviction left on a record.
Smith’s hearing Friday is expected to be followed by similar hearings at later dates for the three others charged as...