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The Glen Ridge Rape Trial: 1992-93

Teens In The "rec Room", … The People That Teenagers Admired …", "i Still Care About Them"

Defendants: Christopher Archer, Bryant Grober, Kevin Scherzer, Kyle Scherzer
Crime Charged: Rape
Chief Defense Lawyers: Kyle Scherzer: Louis Esposito; Christopher Archer: Thomas Ford, Jr.; Kevin Scherzer: Michael Querques; Bryant Grober: Alan Zegas
Chief Prosecutors: Glenn Goldberg, Robert Laurino, Elizabeth Miller-Hall
Judge: R. Benjamin Cohen
Place: Newark, New Jersey
Dates of Trial: October 15, 1992-March 16, 1993
Verdicts: Archer: guilty on two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and guilty of second-degree conspiracy; Grober: acquitted of aggravated sexual assault but guilty of third-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault and aggravated sexual contact; Kevin Scherzer: guilty of two first-degree counts of aggravated sexual assault and guilty of second-degree conspiracy; Kyle Scherzer: guilty of one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, guilty of second-degree attempted aggravated sexual assault, and guilty of second-degree conspiracy.
Sentences: Grober: three years' probation and 200 hours of community service; Kyle Scherzer: seven years imprisonment; Archer and Kevin Scherzer: 15 years each.

SIGNIFICANCE: Many consider this case a symptom of the ailments of late twentieth-century American society. It sent to prison three of the stereotypical heroes of a public high school in a stereotypical middle-class suburban community. As it exposed the thoughtless, sordid, and vicious crimes of the defendants, it was almost a textbook case of group abnormal psychology. [NOTE: To protect the victim, her name in news accounts and books has been changed. Here it is Susan Fisher; other names reported are factual.]

In prosperous Glen Ridge, New Jersey, high-school students Christopher Archer, twins Kevin and Kyle Scherzer, and Susan Fisher had been schoolmates since kindergarten. For 12 years, the boys had amused themselves by making things difficult for Fisher, who was, as everybody knew, developmentally challenged.

By March 1, 1989, Fisher was 17. Her IQ was 64. Her mind was considered that of an eight-year-old. That afternoon, Christopher Archer found Fisher on a playground near the Scherzer brothers' home. He urged her to join him and several friends at the Scherzers'. Reluctant at first, she yielded to Archer's promises of a prize and a date later with his brother Paul.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994