Alarm Over Boy Rapists
by Michael Wray and Tristan Swanwick (The Courier-Mail 23/4/2008)

A 14-YEAR-OLD boy has been charged with abducting and raping a woman beside one of Brisbane's busiest roads.

The boy allegedly grabbed the 19-year-old from a footpath on Gympie Rd at Chermside, in Brisbane's outer north.

Police said the boy dragged his victim behind an industrial bin and assaulted her before making off with her bank cards about 9.30pm on March 29.

The case has highlighted a spike in sexual offences by juveniles statewide.

Since 2000 the number of boys under 16 accused of sex crimes has more than doubled.

Every week in Queensland a 10 to 16-year-old boy is accused of rape or attempted rape, police statistics show.

The same age group was involved in 468 other sexual offences last financial year, up from 188 five years earlier.

They include the case of group of youths and children who escaped jail sentences, in a controversial decision by a Cairns judge, for allegedly pack raping an Aboriginal girl, aged only 10, at a remote Cape York community.

Other minors charged with rape and serious sexual assaults have also avoided custodial sentences because of their extreme youth.

A police spokeswoman last night said she was unable to comment on the statistics.

Queensland University of Technology criminologist Tricia Fox said the latest alleged attack reflected a worrying jump in the number of juveniles involved in aggressive sexual crimes.