Students in Oregon beware: smacking people in the butt as a greeting gesture could end up getting you charged with felonies and labeled as a sex offender.
In yet another shining example of dysfunctional justice, two 13 year old middle school students in Oregon are reportedly facing up to 10 years in a juvenile detention facility and may have to register as sex offenders because they smacked girls on the rear end at school.
In February, Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison were caught in the halls of Patton Middle School in McMinnville, OR slapping girls on the rear end. In a telephone interview with ABC news, Mashburn said that this was a common way of saying hello that wascpracticed by lots of kids.
Both boys spent five days in a juvenile detention facility, charged with five counts of felony sex abuse for what they and their parents said was simply inappropriate behavior, not criminal behavior.
Since then the District Attorney has dropped the felony charges and said that probation would be an appropriate punishment. Cory Mashburns attorney said prosecutors offered Cory a plea bargain that wouldn’t require him to register as a sex offender, which the family is going to reject.
The trial is set for August 20. If convicted, both boys face the possibility of some jail time or having to register as sex offenders. Sentencing them to anything turns admittedly inappropriate juvenile behavior into a crime.
Cory Mashburn told ABC news that he and Ryan slapped each others’ and other kids’ rear ends every Friday and that lots of kids at school do that.
Court documents said the boys touched the buttocks of several girls which naturally made some of them uncomfortable, and that Cory touched a girls breasts. Police reports filed with the court said that other students, both boys and girls, slapped each other on the bottom. According to the police report, one girl said “it’s like a handshake we do.”
Meanwhile, two girls recanted at a court hearing saying they never felt threatened or inappropriately touched by the boys who still face 10 misdemeanor charges of harassment and sexual abuse. The judge released both boys but banned them from the school and required them to be under constant adult supervision. Mashburn says he now realizes what he did was inappropriate and he’s scared. He might have to go to jail and register as a sex offender.
The district attorney says the victims were being overlooked. “What’s been lost in this whole thing are the victims, who have been pressured enormously by these boys’ friends” he said.
What’s been lost in this whole thing is how incredibly stupid this whole overblown situation really is. What the boys did was wrong, but not criminal.
If this thing actually goes through a whole trial, they may as well start arresting every athlete who slaps a teammates butt when they’re congratulating or greeting them. Imagine all the felons and registered sex offenders would be playing baseball, football and every other organized sport. To see just how ridiculous this whole situation is, read the article from The Oregorian newspaper called “Unruly school boys or sex offenders?”