"The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers." Part 3

The reprieve is over, from ABC News [photo credit:Ibid]: Boys Face Sex Trial for Slapping Girls’ Posteriors [emphasis mine]:

Cory Mashburn Two middle-school students in Oregon are facing possible time in a juvenile jail and could have to register as sex offenders for smacking girls on the rear end at school.

Cory Mashburn [pictured right] and Ryan Cornelison, both 13, were arrested in February after they were caught in the halls of Patton Middle School, in McMinnville, Ore., slapping girls on the rear end. Mashburn told ABC News in a phone interview that this was a common way of saying hello practiced by lots of kids at the school, akin to a secret handshake.

The boys spent five days in a juvenile detention facility and were charged with several counts of felony sex abuse for what they and their parents said was merely inappropriate but not criminal behavior.

The local district attorney has since backed off — the felony charges have been dropped and the district attorney said probation would be an appropriate punishment. The Mashburns’ lawyer said prosecutors offered Cory a plea bargain that would not require him to register as a sex offender, which the family plans to reject.

But the boys, if convicted at an Aug. 20 trial, still face the possibility of some jail time or registering for life as sex offenders.

The boys’ families and lawyers said even sentencing them to probation would turn admittedly inappropriate but not uncommon juvenile rowdiness into a crime. If they are convicted of any of the misdemeanor charges against them, they would have to register as sex offenders.

“It’s devastating,” said Mark Lawrence, Cory Mashburn’s lawyer. “To be a registered sex offender is to be designated as the most loathed in our society. These are young boys with bright futures, and the brightness of those futures would be over.”

Cory Mashburn said he and Ryan Cornelison slapped each others’ and other kids’ bottoms every Friday. “Lots of kids at school do that,” he said.

Cory and Ryan were brought to the principal’s office Feb. 22, where they were questioned by school officials and a police officer. They were arrested that day and taken in handcuffs to a juvenile detention facility.

Court papers said the boys touched the buttocks of several girls, some of whom said this made them uncomfortable. The papers also said Cory touched a girl’s breasts. But police reports filed with the court said other students, both boys and girls, slapped each other on the bottom.

“It’s like a handshake we do,” one girl said, according to the police report.

The boys were initially charged with five counts of felony sexual abuse. At a court hearing, two of the girls recanted, saying they never felt threatened or inappropriately touched by the boys. The judge released the boys but barred them from returning to school and required that they be under constant adult supervision.

District Attorney Bradley Berry has since dismissed the felony counts. The boys face 10 misdemeanor charges of harassment and sexual abuse. They face a maximum of up to one year in a juvenile jail on each count, though Berry said there was no way the boys would ever serve that much time.

[…]

Depending on the terms of probation, it’s likely that the boys would not be allowed to have sexual contact with anyone or any contact with younger children, McFarlane [a supervising attorney at the Juvenile Rights Project in Portland, Ore.] said. For Cory Mashburn, that would mean he couldn’t be left alone with his younger siblings.

[…]

Cory, who said he now realizes what he did was inappropriate, spends his days playing video games and basketball. He said he’s scared. “I could go to jail. I could be registered as a sex offender,” he said. “I think it’s all crazy.”

Hat tip: Overlawyered

5 Comments

  1. Dory says:

    I think these kids being label sex offenders is a good punishment. It’ll show them and other idiotic tweens not to “act out t.v shows”.

    The kid is 12 now, and just swatting bottoms yes – but next thing we know, he’s gonna be that man in the park flashing children, or raping young girls and killing them.

    I also think his Mother is to blame as well. She should have taught her soon to just know better in general.

    Little Cory says he didn’t know it was “wrong” then? He should have known, and it’s his parents fault for not teaching him decency and manners and boundaries.

  2. So, are the girls that are swatting boys’ butts going to be sexually assaulting boys when the girls are in their 20s and 30s like so many female teachers seem to be doing?

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53859

  3. Chris T. says:

    Too bad boys are treated like deviants, when girls doing the same acts are just considered “playful” or “immature.

    Girls are just as bad at touching boys inappropriately. Tweaking guys on the chest, goosing them on the butt, putting their hands on a boy’s leg-then front-while sitting next to him.

    I am in no way condoning the actions of the boys in this case. However, unless the school, law enforcement, and especially the prosecutor are willing to treat girls misbehaving likewise EXACTLY as they are treating these boys, then they should drop this entire mess and move on.

    In these cases, what’s good for the gander, is good for the goose!

  4. the best way to end all the disputes in the worl , we have to work o this tag line!

  5. Craig says:

    ZERO Tolerance makes ZERO sense! I have lost count of how many stories I have seen across the country where kids, from kindergarden through high school, have been punished unnecessarily or far beyond reason for acts that are often normal and age appropriate.

    Whether it’s been a teenage girl giving a friend a Midol; an elementary school boy suspended for giving a friend a lemon drop; a kindergardener suspended for playing cops & robbers with an L shaped piece of black paper; a 13 year old boy suspended for making ‘terrorist threats’ because he had a random doodle on his homework that vaguely resembled a gun or the two young teenage boys who were charged with felony sexual assault for slapping girls on the bottom. All these kids were suspended or jailed because of “Zero Tolerance” rules. What happened to common sense and to the concept of ‘intent’? What is actually being taught to our children with this kind of ridiculous reasoning??

    I’m not saying all of these acts are acceptable, but they are age appropriate. In some of these cases the behavior needs to be addressed, BUT in an appropriate manner.

    These acts are NOT criminal, nor are these children criminals, but we treat them as such. If there is a need for discipline in these cases (and those like them), then it is the responsibility of the parents and the schools to work together to deal with it, not the Criminal Judicial System.

    Zero Tolerance, with regards to anything, will NEVER make sense because no situation, in the entire universe, is black & white 100% of the time, if in fact anything is EVER 100% black & white.

    We need to find balance in our social, political, environmental, religious, emotional, economic, and every other aspect of our lives . Right now our country and much of the world is spinning out of control into either complete chaos or a near fascist state.

    Education, Tolerance and Balance are what we need, not more laws and more blind political correctness.

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