As the nation reels from the horrific details of the Steubenville, Ohio rape case, one of the accused teenagers was granted permission to leave house arrest for a holiday vacation.
Ma'lik Richmond, 16, traveled to California between the dates of Dec. 31 and Jan. 5 for a vacation to watch the biological son of his legal guardians compete in the prestigious All American Academic Football Bowl.
Greg and Jennifer Agresta asked the judge if Richmond could have permission to travel with the family. In August, he and Trenton Mays, the other teen who allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl, were placed in a juvenile detention center until November. He is now in the care of the Agrestas and is serving the rest of his house arrest in their home.
The decision to let Richmond spend the rest of his time before the trial at the Agresta's came at the preliminary hearing. According to Fred Abdalla, Jr., Chief Probation Officer at Jefferson County Juvenile Court, the judge presiding over the case sentenced both teens to house arrest under the condition that they wear electronic bracelets and travel only to Jefferson Juvenile Alternative School and home again.
But regarding the court granting permission to a vacation while under surveillance, Abdalla contended that the plans had already been set.
But, Mr. Abdalla said, that ‘plans had been made and an itinerary set’ by the Agresta family before knowing that Ma’lik was going to be released to them and this was factored into the ruling.'
When asked why the teen wasn't returned to the juvenile detention center while his parents were on vacation, Abdalla said:
"The option of putting him back in was considered. But both boys were in detention for a long period of time and they’re innocent until proven guilty or till they admit something. We knew where he was at every moment."
Richmond’s attorney Water Madison said that the request to allow his client to travel was out of concern for his safety.
This decision, some in the town believe, is supporting the idea that the football players in the small town receive preferential treatment.
Can't refute that idea. Do you think Richmond should have been placed in a detention center while his parents traveled?
SOURCE: Daily Mail