An autistic Maryland boy who was allegedly forced by two classmates to engage in a sex act with the family pet, walk on an ice-covered pond that gave way and held at knifepoint says he doesn’t want to see them prosecuted for committing and filming the bullying.
Lauren Bush, 17, and a 15-year-old classmate from Chopticon High School were arrested last month by the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Tim Cameron told The New York Daily News the “heinous” allegations in this case are some of the worst he has ever seen.
Between December and March, the suspects recorded themselves assaulting their 16-year-old victim by pointing a knife to his throat, making him walk across a frozen pond and kicking him in the groin, the sheriff said.
Yet the victim, identified only as Michael in an interview with The Washington Post, tells the newspaper he considers the girls his friends and is unhappy that his parents are pursuing criminal charges.
The high-functioning sophomore described the knife incident as “a game gone wrong. It was a sick game, kind of creepy. But they didn’t have a serious intention about killing me,” he told the Post.
Cameron told the newspaper perhaps the most appalling charge was a sexual act they allegedly coerced the victim into performing.
“The victim was forced to masturbate and then copulate with a family pet,” he said. “It’s beyond comprehension.”
Michael said he would like the charges dropped against the girls he still calls friends. But his parents want Bush tried as an adult.
“It really makes me upset that my parents want to see them in jail,” Michael told the Post. “Because I really like them.”
“My son is a staunch defender of his tormentors; it’s embarrassing,” his father told the Post. “He may be more disabled than I convinced myself that he was and maybe more lost than I realized. That’s something I am going to have to deal with on a later day. Right now, I am trying to get justice for him and others like him.”
The suspects were arrested after one girl's mother found the video on her daughter’s phone and alerted the school resource officer at the high school they both attended in Mechanicsville.
Bush, a high school junior, was charged as an adult with first-degree assault, false imprisonment and child-pornography solicitation, and faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted, the newspaper says. She has been on house arrest, but this week begins a stay of several weeks at a state juvenile detention center for psychological evaluation.
The Bushes, who want to have their daughter’s trial transferred to juvenile court, hope those tests convince a St. Mary’s County Circuit Court judge that the girl should not be tried as an adult.