In re N.C.Annotate this Case
N.C., born in 2000, and another minor sexually abused a clearly-intoxicated 17-year-old female high school student outside a private house party after a homecoming dance. The juvenile court entered a dispositional order committing N.C. to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) for a maximum period of confinement of nine years following his admission to forcible oral copulation and sexual battery. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting N.C.’s argument that there was no evidence the commitment would be of probable benefit to him or that a less restrictive placement would be ineffective or inappropriate. Conflicting evidence did not render the juvenile court’s commitment order an abuse of discretion or warrant its reversal. The juvenile court found that certain testimony “lacked foundation” and was “clearly biased,” because the witness’s organization would benefit financially were minor placed there. The juvenile court properly considered the proposed less restrictive alternatives before finding them inappropriate or ineffective in his case; the court was appropriately focused on minor’s individual circumstances in light of the potential reformative, educational, rehabilitative, treatment and disciplinary benefits of a DJJ commitment, as opposed to one of the alternative programs.