- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
St. Mary’s prosecutors took action this week to seek the rearrest of a teenage girl who earlier was released on personal recognizance on charging papers alleging she and another girl committed a series of criminal acts against a boy with autism from their school.
St. Mary’s sheriff’s office reported that the boy was coerced to perform sexual acts, and to walk onto a frozen pond where he fell through the ice.
Lauren Ashley Bush, a 17-year-old Mechanicsville resident who told a court commissioner that she is a junior at Chopticon High School, was released from custody this week after she was charged as an adult with first-degree assault, false imprisonment and soliciting a minor in the production of child pornography — offenses that allegedly occurred between early last December and early last month.
A 15-year-old girl charged in the case remains in custody at a state juvenile facility, a prosecutor said Wednesday, to await another detention hearing in court next week.
Later that day, prosecutors filed their request that a judge revoke Bush’s pretrial release, granted by a court commissioner, on grounds that the decision “will not reasonably ensure that the defendant will not pose a danger to the victim, or to another person or to our community, ... [and did] not properly protect the citizens of St. Mary’s County.”
Sheriff’s Cpl. Andrew Holton, assigned as a school resource officer at Chopticon High School, began investigating late last week the “ongoing assaults and harassment” of the 16-year-old boy by the two female students, court papers state, and the younger girl’s mother provided the law officer with videos recorded by the two girls of their conduct with the boy. Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) said Thursday the boy suffers from a form of autism.
“It was an extended period of time,” sheriff’s Capt. Terry Black said this week of the series of offenses.
The videos showed Bush twice holding a knife to the boy’s throat and threatening him, dragging him by his hair and kicking him in the groin during the incidents that allegedly occurred at his home in Mechanicsville, according to charging papers from the investigation that was further pursued by detectives Scott Ruest and Ashley Croyle. Another video showed the boy and the younger suspect on a bed, charging papers state, accompanied by a dog that at one point was tied to a chair.
The video of the boy walking onto a frozen pond reveals that Bush told him to go out farther to try to retrieve a basketball, according to charging papers, alleging that the two girls told investigators that the boy fell through the ice several times, and that he pulled himself out of the icy water, without any help from them.
Charging papers allege that Bush admitted to her involvement in all of the videos, and the incidents.
“She advised it was simply a game,” detectives wrote in a statement of probable cause. The sheriff’s office captain said the boy suffered no physical injuries from the incidents.