Alabama Supreme Court expands juvenile sex abuse rules

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A decision by the Alabama Supreme Court could make it easier to prosecute child-sex cases.

The court on Friday overturned a lower court’s ruling that threw out the sodomy conviction of a teen accused of abusing a young child at a day care in Jefferson County.

Criminal Appeals judges previously reversed Eric Lemont Higdon’s first-degree sodomy conviction, ruling prosecutors didn’t prove he used force.

But the justices ruled 8-1 that prosecutors don’t have to prove the use of force since the Higdon had authority over the child. They say the case should be considered from the child’s perspective, not the adult’s.

Chief Justice Roy Moore dissented, saying fellow justices are encroaching on lawmakers’ decision-making role.

Prison records show Higdon is serving a 23-year term on a related sodomy conviction.

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