Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 11, 2012

Va judge bars media from teen rape hearing

HARRISONBURG, Va. —  A Rockingham County judge has barred the media from covering a hearing for two Harrisonburg teens accused of raping a woman at knifepoint.

The Daily News-Record ( reports Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge David O’Donnell ruled Monday that media could not attend Tuesday’s preliminary hearing. He says the newspaper had reported the juvenile suspects’ and he feared the victim’s name would be published.

The newspaper says its policy is not to publish the names of victims in sexual assault cases.

Several media outlets argued Monday that the case should be public due to the seriousness of the allegations.

The 16-year-old defendants are charged with breaking into a 22-year-old woman’s apartment in October and robbing and repeatedly raping her. Prosecutors plan to charge the teens as adults.

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