BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) The YMCA youth counselor accused of impregnating an 11 year old girl went before a judge Thursday afternoon. 18 year old Martel Jones pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual abuse in Buffalo City Court.
Jones is accused of having sex with an 11 year old summer camper last year. Jones was a YMCA camp counselor. He appeared in court with his attorney to make the not guilty plea Thursday afternoon. The case will now move to motions and hearings, and then a trial. One of the developments out of the latest court appearance was when Jones' attorney asked for youthful offender status for his client, since he was 17 when the alleged crime was committed.
Michael O'Rourke is the defense attorney for Martel Jones. He spoke after Thursday's arraignment on why he wants his client to be deemed a youthful offender.
"Someone who is charged with a misdemeanor, they're eligible to go to trial before a judge but not a jury. He has pleaded not guilty, and we're requesting a trial on the issue itself, of what happened, and he's denying these charges," O'Rourke said.
Having youthful offender status also allows for the courts to seal a defendant's records, and allows for reduced jail time if convicted.
Jones will be back in front of a judge again in late August before the trial can start.
There are still many questions in this case, including a statement Jones made to police and the results of a paternity test. Those will be discussed in great detail as this case moves along.