Mass. judge upholds rape charge

March 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 8 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts judge has refused to dismiss a case against a 19-year-man charged with statutory rape after the suicide of a 15-year-old girl.

Austin Renaud is one of six people charged in connection with the death of Phoebe Prince, who committed suicide Jan. 14, 2010, after alleged harassment from fellow students who are now facing felony charges, The (Springfield, Mass.) Republican reported Tuesday.

A grand jury indicted Renaud after the suicide of the South Hadley High School student following the alleged bullying, WWLP-TV, Springfield, reported.

Hampshire Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Rup denied a motion by an attorney for Renaud to dismiss the charge on the grounds the commonwealth failed to provide "admissible and credible evidence" that Renaud had sexual intercourse with Prince.

Renaud is facing the single charge of statutory rape, while five others face charges including criminal harassment and violation of civil rights resulting in bodily injury, the newspaper reported.

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