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Judge In Teen Sex Assault Case Will Let Defense See Cell Phone Videos

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Cell Phone (Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Cell Phone (Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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VALPARAISO, Ind.(STMW) – Cell phone videos should be given to the attorney of a 17-year-old being tried as an adult, Judge William Alexa ruled Friday.

Although the Porter County Prosecutor’s office had allowed Public Defender Robert Harper to view the videos in the prosecutor’s office, Harper wants an expert to slow them down.

There are about 60 videos taken from the phones of defendant April L. Kuchta of Valparaiso and others at a April 9-10 teen party, where Kuchta allegedly handcuffed a 17-year-old boy and sexually assaulted him

Only 46 to 57 videos pertain to the incident, Judge William Alexa said Friday.

“After viewing them, there is some reason to believe that slowing them down could be of some use to the defense,” Alexa said.

The judge noted that in one, it appears Kuchta asked the victim whether he was crying.

Alexa also admonished that although nothing on the tapes would qualify as child pornography, Harper could not release them to anyone else because of privacy concerns.

The tapes also include photos of the alleged victim and of the inside and outside of Kuchta’s home, the judge said.

Alexa will rule Friday, June 24 on turning over Valparaiso High School records on whether the victim has any sort of disability and to what extent.

According to Harper’s motion, “the alleged victim apparently is in regular classes in Valparaiso High School and has been accepted at Valparaiso University and has received a scholarship as a result of his achievements in music.”

Alexa also granted motions that Harper made Friday. In one, the defense will get copies of an arrest report, police reports and records of any criminal actions filed in juvenile court against the victim. Harper’s motion states the boy is on juvenile probation after attacking another student at Valparaiso High School.

And the defense will also get copies of transcripts from the three juvenile hearings for Kutcha’s 15-year-old sister, who has been sentenced indefinitely to the Indiana Girls School.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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