• Teen accused of sexually assaulting 7-year-old appears in court

    By: Henry Rosoff


    TACOMA, Wash. - With the 7-year-old, he is accused of beating and sexually assaulting, sedated in her hospital bed, 14-year-old Melvin Edwards stood before a Pierce County juvenile court judge.

    Edwards’ mother cried in the corner of the courtroom and hid her face as the judge found enough probable cause to hold her son for rape of a child, attempted murder and kidnapping.

    “It is brutal,” said Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Benton. “[The whole thing] is difficult.”

    According to court documents, the 7-year-old identified Edwards as the one who took her into the woods behind their Puyallup apartment complex Wednesday.  He told her about a bird’s nest back there.

    It took a search dog to eventually find the girl.

    Documents show that when police spoke with Edwards, he at first told them: “I didn’t do anything.”  Only when police confronted him with bloody clothes found in his room, did Edwards begin to come clean.  That is when Edwards told police the 7-year-old kicked him and that sent him into a  “rage.”

    He admitted that he smacked and punched the little girl in the face.  Then Edwards said he got afraid he would get in trouble, dragged her deep into the woods, and choked her until she passed out because she would not stop the screaming.

    Investigators found signs he sexually assaulted the 7-year-old. 

    Edwards denies that part.

    Benton said he is not yet sure if his office will push to charge Edwards as an adult.

    “He is 14 years old, very young,” Benton said.  “It’s a difficult decision and one that requires a lot of input and a lot of consideration.”

    Benton would not comment on the 14-year-old’s criminal history, and would not even say if he had one.  

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