- Associated Press - Thursday, January 16, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A California judge denied a request Thursday for a 16-year-old to be tried as a juvenile after being accused of setting the clothing of a gender-neutral teen on fire.

William DuBois, the attorney for Richard Thomas, had argued that it would be cruel and unusual punishment for Thomas to face a possible life sentence if he is convicted in the November attack on 18-year-old Sasha Fleischman, who identifies as neither male nor female.

KTVU-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1ja1uCQ ) that Judge J. Richard Couzens said in Alameda County Superior Court that the district attorney’s office acted within its rights when it charged Thomas as an adult.

Couzens also said that it would be premature to rule that Thomas faces cruel and unusual punishment because his trial has not yet been held, KTVU says.

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Information from: KTVU-TV.