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A judge ordered Monday the release from a state juvenile facility, and the detention on home arrest, of the younger of two teenage girls charged this month in a police investigation of alleged criminal conduct involving a boy at their school.

The county sheriff said this month that the boy’s parents told investigators that their child has a form of autism.

A prosecutor argued during a court hearing that the 15-year-old girl should remain in custody at the facility where she was detained earlier this month. The judge agreed, however, with a request by the girl’s lawyer and her parents, and a recommendation by agents with the state’s division of juvenile services, that she be sent home to await further court proceedings.

The older suspect in the case, 17-year-old Lauren Ashley Bush, also remains on house arrest after a follow-up hearing on her pretrial release was canceled last week. She faces circuit court charges including first-degree assault, false imprisonment and inducing the 16-year-old boy to be a subject of a performance depicting sexual conduct and sadomasochistic abuse. Bush’s lawyers have filed a request that the counts against their client, charged from the onset as an adult, be transferred to juvenile court.

St. Mary’s detectives filed initial district court charging papers earlier this month alleging that cell phone videos showed Bush twice threatening the boy with a knife, dragging him by the hair and kicking him in the groin, between last December and early February at his Mechanicsville home. Another video showed the boy and the younger girl on a bed, accompanied by a dog, court papers state, and a video also shows the boy walking onto a frozen pond, where he repeatedly fell through the ice and got back out on his own.

At the younger girl’s court hearing on Monday, St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Karen H. Abrams said the alleged conduct went beyond more familiar issues of juveniles being involved in drugs or fighting. “This kind of stuff is just out of [that] realm,” she said.

Home schooling is being arranged for both girls, the prosecutor said, in accordance with requirements that they not go back to Chopticon High School until the charges against them are resolved.

jwharton@somdnews.com