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March 02, 2006

"Purple Nerple" Leads To Four-Day Stay At Juvie Hall

Not sure what to think of this:

A teen who pinched and twisted another boy's nipple while standing in line at a deli has been sentenced to four days in juvenile detention because he refused to write a letter that explained his actions.

The 16-year-old, was convicted of offensive physical touching in July 2005, after the victim's parents complained to Gold Hill police. The Crater High School student paid a $67 fine and served three days of community service.

"I emptied trash cans, mowed lawns and shoveled gravel," the teen said.

But the teen's refusal to comply with the final piece of his sentence will cost him four days in detention. He was required to write the letter during four classes put on by Mediation Works, which operates the victim-offender program for Jackson County Community Justice.

...

The offender is required to describe the act in detail, explain "thinking errors," "express empathy" and describe any resultant life changes.

..

The teen said he presented a rough draft of his letter in the third session. He said he balked when told he must also describe his "criminal thought processes."

He said that would imply malicious or criminal intent, and "none of that applied to my feelings or actions."

The teen said he had no criminal intent because he considered the victim to be a friend at the time of the incident — which he deemed horseplay. Including the language sought by Mediation Works, he said, would turn his prior court statements into lies.

"It was a matter of conscience," the teen said. "I figure the worst is already over."

Odd. I'm not sure if the kid is on the level -- if the other kid really was a friend, how did it all get this far? -- but I guess it's good he's sticking by his guns.

I guess one could call the attempt at forced contrition Orwellian, but then, expressing remorse is almost always part of the deal in getting a reduced sentence. If you're not remorseful, or won't admit the wrongness of the deed, you have to serve the full sentence.

It's just strange that all this is unfolding because of a purple nerple. I hated them myself, and really didn't understand the whole weird thing of another dude wanting to grab my nipple and twist, but it is, alas, part of what young boys do.

Thanks to RLW.


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posted by Ace at 01:40 PM

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