TULSA, Okla. -- Four former Bixby football players accused of raping a teammate will undergo a psychiatric evaluation before their next hearing. That's when it will be determined if the trial will be moved to juvenile court.
In three weeks, a decision that could change the lives of four Tulsa County teenagers.
"I think this case, just the specifics all the way around, is pretty unique," OSU Assistant Clinical Professor Dr. Jason Beaman said.
Dr. Beaman, who is not tied to this case, heads the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at OSU's Center for Health Sciences.
"Is it bullying?" Dr. Beaman said. "Is it rape? is it some sort of weird mixture of the two?"
Dr. Beaman has done lots of psychiatric evaluations for high profile defendants like Michael Bever, Stanley Majors, and Ariel Castro.
"I doubt a lot of people have done any kind of evaluations in a case similar to this," Dr. Beaman said.
So what will be asked?
"We ask them about their background, their childhood, relationship with their parents, any history of abuse," Dr. Beaman said. "Do they use drugs? Do they use alcohol? If so, how much? How often? How does that impair your life?"
At that point, the doctor would then cover every symptom of every mental illness. Dr. Beaman says it's sometimes common for the defense, in any case, to ask for an evaluation.
"What they're trying to determine is if these defendants are treated as a youthful offender and is there some sort of treatment that they can receive that is going to make a reoccurrence of these events not happen, he said.
For some cases, he says it could be helpful.
"In some aspects, it would appear favorable for an individual to be found to have a mental illness and get into a treatment program instead of possibly going to prison," Dr. Beaman said.
Some may wonder if it's possible to lie.
"If they are going to fake, they're going to fake the common ones, like they hear voices," Dr. Beaman said. "But we are going to ask them a lot of questions about those voices and depending on their answers, we may think it's more likely than not that they are faking."
Right now the future for the four teenagers is unknown. But in a few weeks, there will be more answers to a story that continues to make headlines.
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