- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A St. Mary’s teenage boy assaulted by two girls said this week he is moving on with life.
“I’m glad it’s over,” the 16-year-old sophomore at Chopticon High School said Monday afternoon. As for any insights from the prosecution and punishment of his assailants, he added, “I really don’t think I’ve gained anything. It hasn’t really affected me much.”
He didn’t take part in court proceedings that led to the confinement of the two girls in juvenile facilities. But the boy, whose increased vulnerability because he has a form of autism factored heavily in the case, has formed some opinions about the two schoolmates he once considered friends, and some advice for anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation.
“I don’t care about those two girls anymore,” he said. “I’m smart enough to realize that what they did was wrong.”
And his suggestion to others was equally direct. “Be careful with how people treat you,” he said. “Stand up for yourself.”
Last Thursday, a judge imposed commitment at a juvenile facility for the older of the two teenage girls, potentially until she is 21, after the 17-year-old’s admission to involvement in second-degree assault and distributing an obscene video of the boy. The older girl’s court hearings followed the prosecution of the younger girl, a 15-year-old who now is also being held for an indefinite period, potentially until her 21st birthday, on charges of second-degree assault and displaying an obscene photograph of the boy.
At the older girl’s plea hearing last month, after her case was transferred from the county’s adult court system to its juvenile court, St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney John Pleisse said the girl had kicked the boy in the groin and threatened him with a knife during an argument about his revealing her name and that of the younger girl.
The boy said this week that he now would likely defend himself, to ward off an armed attack of that nature. “I probably would have,” he said, “if she did that today.”
St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Michael J. Stamm’s comment last week in court, that “there are no winners in this case,” resonated with the boy’s parents.
“The judge said it right,” the boy’s father said after the disposition hearing. “This probably got a lot more attention than anybody wanted, ... [but] it did warrant attention.”
During the hearing last week, the boy’s father said that “the torture endured by our son, similar in nature to what was done to Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib, was done for the sheer fun of it,” and he asked that “the defendant gets the help she most desperately needs.”
“I hope that these girls truly are sorry,” the boy’s mother said after the hearing, adding that her son at one time “seemed so happy that he had friends, that we just trusted that everything was OK.”
In addition to ordering last week that the older girl be placed in a non-community residential facility, Stamm ordered the payment of $590 in restitution to replace money withdrawn from the boy’s bank account during the period of the girls’ offenses, which authorities allege began last December and continued until February. The judge ordered that the girls be held in different facilities.
At an earlier hearing last month, where another judge transferred the older girl’s case to the juvenile court, defense lawyer Brian Thompson said his client had been subjected to “international scorn,” in part through the posting of her photograph on the Internet after she initially was charged as an adult. Thompson raised the issue again at last week’s disposition hearing, and Stamm said the lawyer could seek to have the initial charging documents expunged.
The boy, who missed just one day of school after the girls’ arrest last winter, said this week that at one time he considered both of the schoolmates to be “really nice.
“Maybe after they get their treatment, they’ll realize that what they did was wrong,” he said, adding, “I’m not necessarily a saint, either. I’ve done some bad things as well.”
He said he’s incurred no ill will at school this spring since the girls were arrested, from students or staff. “They’re treating me great,” he said.