Five teenagers who bullied a 13-year-old Upper Darby student in a case that generated national attention were released from juvenile detention today after a judge ordered them to serve probation and enter community-based supervision programs.
A sixth teenager who last week asked for a trial changed his mind and admitted to misdemeanor assault and related charges. He was ordered held until a hearing scheduled for March 3.
The five teens released Thursday, all aged 13 to 17, were arrested Jan. 31 for assaulting 13-year-old Nadin Khoury. The boys dragged Khoury through the snow, stuffed him into a tree and hung him by his coat on a fence. A seventh teenager took video of the attack with his cell phone, but charges against him were later dropped.
The five boys admitted to misdemeanor assault and related charges to avoid felony charges, and they were sentenced Thursday
“He is embarrassed by what happened,” attorney Steven C. Leach told Judge Mary Alice Brennan about his 15-year-old client. “I don’t think you are going to see him back in court.”
Brennan released the five teens to the custody of their families. All will be required to submit to some form of home monitoring and will have curfews. They’ll perform community service and are forbidden from contacting Khoury or his family, said Deputy District Attorney Dominick Spigarelli.
And all five boys were ordered to attend separate programs aimed at helping to rehabilitate them.
“They don’t want them all in the same program hanging out,” Spigarelli said.
Khoury, who sat with his mother and father during the proceedings in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, told the prosecutor that he was satisfied with the result.
“We agree with the very good work of the DA’s office and the detectives,” said Sarah Dragotta, an attorney hired by Khoury’s family.
The sixth teenager admitted to simple assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment but did not cop to conspiracy charges that the others admitted. The teen, 16, tried to pull one of the boys off of Khoury, said David DiPasqua, a public defender representing the boy.
But the teenager decided not to go to trial after allegations emerged that he “kicked and verbally abused” Khoury, DiPasqua said.
DiPasqua said the boys gave statements indicating that the incident began as a snowball fight with Khoury that went from “horseplay” to “a criminal event.”
Taken from Philly.com