• 8 Florida teens face prison for video assault

    Date: 04.14.08 | by Judge Tom.

    Teens arrested and charged as adults for beating 16 year old

    Mercades [16], Brittini [17], April [14], Cara [16], Britney [17], Kayla [15], Zachary [17] and Stephen [18] may be teens but could also be tried as adults and face years in prison for their alleged March 30, 2008 beating of 16-year-old Victoria Lindsay. 

     cheerleader-assault-caseLindsay, a Florida cheerleader, was lured to a friend’s home where the beating was videotaped for posting on YouTube or MySpace. She suffered a concussion, bruising and lacerations from the thirty-minute beating.

    Charges dropped against 3 of the teens

    Update: Following further investigation into the case, charges were dropped against Cara, Stephen and Zachary in June, 2008.

    Is this another example of making a shock-video for fifteen minutes of fame? These kids got their wish but not exactly as planned. What could prevent this from happening again? Should there be filters put on social networking sites to eliminate the possibility of posting criminal or offensive materials? Or is that going too far? What do you think?

    Update: By mid-2009, all five girls had accepted a plea-bargain and admitted to various charges. Only one of the girls was given time in jail [15 days for Brittini]. All had to complete community service, pay restitution and serve one to three years on probation.

    Similar incident involving middle-schoolers

    In a possible copy-cat case, a group of middle school girls [ages 12 to 14] beat up a 12-year-old classmate in April, 2008. The incident happened off-campus but all attended Clarksville Middle School in Kentucky. The beating was videotaped and posted on PhotoBucket. An investigation continues and possible criminal charges may be filed. The victim was treated at a hospital for cuts and bruises and released.

    In another incident of incredible stupidity, six teenagers in Chicago were questioned by the police for a robbery that turned into a vicious beating of a 17 year-old victim. The three minute incident was filmed and posted online for the world to see. Some of the attackers were clearly identifiable and the investigation continues. The attackers got away with $200 and a pair of gym shoes. The victim suffered a cut lip, bruising and abrasions. This occurred in January, 2012 in an area where dozens of students have been assaulted since 2009.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    2 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Didacticus
      Sat, 12 Sep 2009 at 09:45

      You wrote: “None were tried as adults”; that’s misleading at best, since two of them were ADJUDICATED AS ADULTS. Britini went into ADULT jail, and both Britini and Mercades are on ADULT probation and have ADULT criminal records.
      Judge Tom’s response:
      We stand corrected. Thanks for the update.

    • Tricia
      Tue, 26 Apr 2011 at 10:01

      It’s not a case of kids wanting 15 minutes of fame. They wanted to teach her a lesson. I haven’t been in HS for many years so I don’t know what lesson they were trying to teach her, or if the lesson was even warranted. But they were trying to teach her something nonetheless.

      Kids and teens just don’t think beyond phase 1 of any plan they concoct. In their mind she had done something wrong and needed to be punished. They wanted to further humiliate her by broadcasting what she had done wrong online. They didn’t want fame. That’s what videotaping your antics and other funny s— you do is for. Trust me they didn’t think anyone would rat them out. You videotape it to show everyone how tough you are so that nobody will mess with you. NOT so you can get caught and sent to jail. Kids forget that adults also watch YouTube. Duh!
      Thanks, Tricia, for your comment. Not only parents, but employers, college admission officers, and other adults who may play a role in a teen’s life, view Facebook, YouTube and other social networking sites for background information before hiring or accepting the teen applicant. “Think B4 U Click” is the message.

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