- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A judge agreed this week to put a Mechanicsville teenager in her parents’ custody at home as she awaits trial on charges of assaulting a boy with autism.
Lauren Ashley Bush, a 17-year-old Country Lakes area resident who initially was released on personal recognizance after her arrest last week, arrived in court Tuesday with her mother and her lawyer after prosecutors sought to have Bush’s pretrial release revoked. A decision on that request was postponed to next week, as both sides agreed to the interim measure of confining the teenager to her residence.
Her lawyer waived Bush’s right to a preliminary hearing in the case.
Bush, charged as an adult, and a 15-year-old girl now in custody at a state juvenile facility, are accused in charging papers of committing criminal offenses on a 16-year-old schoolmate from Chopticon High School, preserved on cell phone videos made at his home.
Charging papers allege that Bush twice threatened the boy with a knife, dragged him by the hair and kicked him in the groin during a series of incidents from early last December to early last month. St. Mary’s sheriff’s detectives reported that the boy was coerced to perform sexual acts, and to also walk out onto a frozen pond where he repeatedly fell through the ice.
St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) said last week that the boy’s parents told police that their child has a form of autism.
During Tuesday’s district court proceeding, Erin Murphy, a Baltimore lawyer representing Bush, said she would waive her right to a preliminary hearing on the charges including first-degree assault, false imprisonment and soliciting a person to be a subject in child pornography. The lawyer said that decision would allow the case to be moved into circuit court.
St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney John Pleisse said in court that the agreed conditions to Bush’s pretrial release for now would include her leaving home only to see a lawyer or doctor, in the company of a parent, having no contact with the boy or his family or trespassing on their property, and to “not go to school pending resolution of these matters,” pursuing home schooling as an alternative.
“We are in agreement with those conditions,” Murphy responded.
St. Mary’s District Judge Christy Holt Chesser also concurred with the proposal, putting Bush on “house arrest” and ordering, “she may not attend school.”