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15-Year-Old Gets 6 Years For Assaulting Disabled Boy

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (AP) -- A St. Mary's County judge sentenced a 15-year-old girl Thursday to a maximum of six years in a juvenile detention center for assaulting a boy with diminished mental capacity.

The Washington Post reports that Judge Michael Stamm rejected a request to avoid jail from the girl who pleaded guilty this month to second-degree assault and displaying an obscene photograph of a boy.

"I just feel a not-lockdown facility is going to be best for me," the girl said in court.

"Of course you do," Stamm said with obvious sarcasm. He called the abuse "horrific" and said the girl poses a danger to the community.

The girl and a 17-year-old girl also charged in the case are accused of making a 16-year-old boy walk onto a partly frozen pond, where he fell in, and encouraging him to try to have sex with his family's dog. In charging documents, sheriff's deputies state that the Chopticon High School students repeatedly assaulted their schoolmate from December to March and that their acts were captured on the younger girl's cell phone. Authorities have said the boy's parents tell investigators the boy is autistic.

The younger girl's attorney, told the judge that his client is remorseful and the older girl was "more aggressive." But prosecutor John Pleisse urged the judge to give her "intense long-term residential treatment," noting that authorities have been investigating allegations that the girls bullied others, including a second disabled student.

"Your actions have betrayed the trust of someone who thought you were their friend," the boy's father told the girl from the stand at Thursday's hearing. "I can say that (my son) almost never smiles, and I hope in time he will heal. I also hope that you will grow to understand that it is wrong to prey upon the weak in our community."

The older girl, who is accused of twice holding a knife to the boy's throat, is charged as an adult with first-degree assault, false imprisonment and child-pornography solicitation. She is undergoing psychological examinations before a hearing on transferring her case to juvenile court.

The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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