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Pregnant Alabama Rape Suspect Asks for Youthful Offender Status

A pregnant rape suspect who signed up for Medicaid and listed a 14-year-old boy as the father of her child is asking a judge to grant youthful offender status.

Mekenzie Leigh Guffey, 19, of Hollywood, is indicted on charges of second-degree rape, traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act, enticing a child for immoral purposes, second-degree sex abuse and two counts involving child pornography.

If a judge grants her youthful offender status, Guffey would face no more than 3 years of punishment. If she is put on trial as an adult, Guffey faces up to life in prison.

Hollywood police arrested Guffey in March after she signed up for Medicaid and listed a 14-year-old as the father. Chief Jason Hepler told AL.com Guffey admitted to having sex with the boy multiple times in her car. Hollywood is a northeast Alabama town with about 1,000 residents.

Guffey's relationship with the boy began in December 2016 after they were introduced through a mutual friend at McDonald's in Scottsboro, police said.

Any defendant under 21 years of age at the time of an alleged crime can apply for youthful offender status. Courts typically consider things like criminal history, mental state, age, childhood experiences, seriousness of offense and role in the alleged crimes, when using their broad discretion to determine who is granted youthful offender status.

When granted, youthful offender status seals any further court records associated with the case and carries a sentence of no more than three years, no matter which crimes were committed.

A hearing date hasn't yet been set for Jackson County Circuit Judge Jenifer C. Holt to consider Guffey's request for youthful offender status. Guffey is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 1. At that hearing, the woman will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty.

 

Guffey is free on bail.


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