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Oregon teen heads to juvenile detention for pinching another boy's nipple
The Associated Press
GOLD HILL, Ore. — 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.
Mary Miller, executive director of Mediation Works, said the purpose of the letter is to prepare teens to be accountable for their offenses.
"They don't have to apologize," she said. "But they are required to be accountable."
The offender is required to describe the act in detail, explain "thinking errors," "express empathy" and describe any resultant life changes.
Miller said the program is "often a very, very healing experience between the victim and youth offender."
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."
"It was a matter of conscience," the teen said. "I figure the worst is already over."
Ken Chapman, a Community Justice juvenile probation supervisor, verified the teen's sentence.
"The judge found a willful violation of the court order," Chapman said.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company