PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Somali refugee charged with rape says he should be tried as a minor because his birth date is different from the one listed on documents when he arrived in the U.S.
The Jan. 1, 1994, birth date on Mohammed Mukhtar's documents means he should be tried as an adult. But his mother says he was born on Oct. 25, 1994, which would make him a minor at the time of the incident last month.
Defense lawyer Jonathan Berry says the Jan. 1 birthday is a fiction perpetuated for bureaucratic convenience. The Portland Press Herald says a judge heard arguments Thursday.
The date is important. If convicted, an adult would face the possibility of 20 years or more in prison. A juvenile can be incarcerated only until age 21.
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