PORTLAND — A court hearing today is addressing whether a sexual assault suspect is an adult or a juvenile.

Mohammed Mukhtar of Portland was arrested on charges of gross sexual assault and burglary. He is accused of breaking into a High Street apartment and attacking a woman in May. The two are strangers.

Jonathan Berry, Mukhtar’s lawyer, is arguing in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court that the birthdate listed on various documents for him is incorrect and a reflection of the government’s practice of assigning January 1 as the birthday for refugees. Mukhtar is a refugee from Somalia.

If Mukhtar was born on Jan. 1, 1994 –  the date listed as his birthday – he would face charges as an adult.

The defense contends that he was born in October 1994, making him a juvenile.

The prosecution presented various documents, including some signed by the defendant and his mother, with the January 1 date as evidence. A police detective also testified that he gave his age as 18 during an interview.

Jamila Sangab, Mukhtar’s mother, testified that Jan. 1 was assigned to her and her seven children before they settled in the United States. She testified that her son was born on Oct. 25, the same date as her wedding anniversary.