State ex rel Juvenile Dep’t of Multnomah County v. Henson – Case Brief Summary (Oregon)

In State ex rel Juvenile Dep't of Multnomah County v. Henson, 97 Ore. App. 26, 775 P.2d 325 (Or. Ct. App. 1989), the juvenile was charged in the original petition with first degree sexual abuse for having forcibly compelled his victims to engage in sexual acts.

After both sides rested, the juvenile court noted that the victims, who were under twelve years old, had not testified that the juvenile did anything to put them in fear.

The court noted its surprise that the State had not charged the juvenile with first degree sexual abuse for having consensual sexual contact with persons under the age of twelve.

The prosecutor moved to amend the petition to conform to the proof adduced at the hearing.

The court granted the motion over the juvenile's objection, relying on an Oregon statute, which provided at the time Henson was decided that a juvenile court may direct that a petition be amended provided the court grants the juvenile a continuance.

The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed, reasoning that the juvenile court must "apply the statute pertaining to an amendment to the petition . . . within the limits of due process." Henson, 775 P.2d at 326.