In response to the 8 and 9-year-old boys accused of gang rape many people minimized the possible trauma that could result if the charges are true. The opinion by some is that a legal intervention was flat-out wrong.
But this case in the UK where George Fraser was sentenced for sex crimes committed beginning when he was 10 against the first of 2 girls. Two years later he started abusing the second girl.
The statements made by these 2 victims, who didn't know about what happened to the other until they were adults, clearly shows that crimes committed by other children can have a long lasting impact on the victim. Because his victims were afraid to tell anyone what he did, his known criminal behavior continued for 5 years. It was only when these 2 survivors realized they weren't the only one that they contacted authorities.
The best time to stop those who are committing sex offenses is early. Part of this is for the benefit of current and potential victims, but catching offenders early may also help young offenders see that offending is not acceptable behavior and has real consequences. If as many people maintain, young offenders have been the victims of other abusers, then they should begin getting the help they need to recover and to learn how to respect the law and other people's boundaries.