16-year-old charged in connection toddler’s rape and murder in Minnesota

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Apr. 30 2021, Updated 5:26 p.m. ET

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A 16-year-old boy allegedly murdered and raped a toddler in Minnesota and prosecutors want to charge him as an adult. 

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The 2-year-old boy was beaten and raped, and the teen in custody was babysitting him before he was found dead. The incident happened in Mankato, Minnesota.

Lee Wayne Young Jr. was charged with second-degree murder in Blue Earth County Juvenile Court, according to The Free Press. The prosecutor wanted the suspect to be charged as an adult, the newspaper reported.

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A juvenile relative reportedly found the toddler unresponsive on April 16 in an apartment. The toddler was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, officials said. 

The medical examiner’s office has ruled the death as a homicide. The examiner found “multiple traumatic injuries” that were “consistent with physical blows to the head and a sexual assault,” The Free Press reported.

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The injuries included facial bruising and bleeding, a brain bleed and bruising on his chest, back and legs. It’s not clear which of the injuries caused the child's death.

“The medical examiner determined there were so many contusions he could not count the number of blows that were delivered,” the petition obtained by The Free Press states.

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The toddler’s body was already in rigor mortis when the police arrived at the apartment.

The toddler’s mother was flagged down by a police officer who was leaving the scene of another unrelated call nearby, according to The Free Press. The mother and her boyfriend told officers “the dogs did it,” but the injuries were not consistent with a dog attack.

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The mother later told police she left the toddler home with Young, her boyfriend’s son, and a 12-year-old girl.

The girl told investigators when she went into the toddler’s room to check on him after an unusually long nap, she found him bleeding and cold.

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The young girl called the toddler’s mother and told her he was not breathing, and the mother and her boyfriend returned home soon after.

Police say Young gave conflicting information to investigators, according to The Free Press. He first said he came home shortly after the girl found the boy.

He later claimed that he arrived after police were already there. 

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Young also said he carried the toddler downstairs after the girl found him, then waited 20 minutes for the boy’s mother and his father to come home.

Young refused to give a DNA sample, but was later compelled to by a warrant.

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