Adolescence can be a challenging time; the child’s brain is still developing, and they are trying to process input coming at them from various directions to make sense of the world. In today’s society, teenagers have access to various social media and networking platforms that allow them to watch and read about what thousands of other kids their age are doing. Thinking it’s funny or entertaining, they attempt to imitate what they’ve observed. For instance, social influencers, celebrities, and hundreds of others participated in the bottle cap challenge. The task was to loosely twist a cap onto a bottle and then untwist it using a spin kick.
Unfortunately, not all online videos are as innocent as the bottle cap challenge and can involve actions that could lead to criminal charges. Yet, adolescents, not fully understanding the consequences of certain behaviors, might still try to copy what they see to get laughs from their peers or likes on their social media page.
Juveniles Charged with Assault
Sadly, seven students at Olentangy Hyatts Middle School were charged with delinquency felony assault and delinquency complicity to assault for carrying out a prank they thought would be funny.
In May of 2019, during a Global Gourmet cooking class, three of the students either put semen on crepes, put urine in barbeque sauce that was then poured onto the crepes, or conspired to bring bodily fluids to the class to put in the food. Several teachers ate the crepes.
School officials didn’t find out what happened until later when word got around that a video was posted showing the students involved in the prank laughing while the teachers were eating the food.
One of the students allegedly watched a video on YouTube showing how to conceal semen in food. The 15-year-old boy who decided to copy what he saw said that he thought it would be funny to repeat the joke and told his friends about it. They agreed to participate.
Definition and Penalties for Assault and Complicity
A person commits assault when they cause or attempt to cause physical harm to someone else. Typically, if the offense is carried out on a school teacher or on school premises, it’s a fifth-degree felony that is punishable by up to 12 months in prison. Complicity, which occurs when a person asks someone else to commit a crime or aids or abets in the offense, is charged and penalized as if the complicit person was the principal offender.
Because the students in the current case are juveniles the court views them as delinquent as opposed to criminals and focuses on reforming behavior instead of solely punishing it.
Two of the students were sentenced to:
- 30 days in juvenile detention,
- Community service,
- Observing food-safety inspectors, and
- Researching food safety
Reach Out to Bridges, Jillisky, Streng, Weller & Gullifer, LLC Today
If your child was accused of committing a crime, contact our attorneys for effective juvenile defense. We have extensive legal experience and a record of getting case dismissals and not guilty verdicts for past clients, and we will be committed to working toward a favorable result on your behalf.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling us at (937) 403-9033 or contacting us online.