Marysville boy ordered into therapy for bus assault

EVERETT — A Marysville boy was ordered to undergo extensive counseling and do community service in connection with his role in an assault on a school bus in March.

The boy, 14, pleaded guilty in juvenile court in August to unlawful imprisonment and indecent exposure.

He was accused of putting his bare buttocks and genitals on top of a girl’s head during a morning school bus ride to Marysville Middle School, according to court papers.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Linda Krese on Friday granted a deferred sentence, meaning the conviction won’t go on the boy’s permanent record so long as he completes all of his court requirements.

Krese spoke to the boy at length Friday, urging him to devote his time to learning how to treat other people and respect their feelings. She described the incident as the “complete public humiliation of another human being.”

“Frankly, I hope you don’t put this behind you because you need to remember how appalling this was,” she said.

The boy will be under community supervision for 12 months. He must complete 64 hours of community service, though therapy can count for some of the hours. He must write a letter of apology to the victim and an essay on the effects of bullying and harassment.

He also must continue counseling until the therapist determines he no longer needs treatment.

The boy feels like “trash” about what happened and has been remorseful and depressed, said his attorney, Robert O’Neal.

The judge also ordered the boy not to contact the girl for five years, and not to attend the same school.

When the boy was charged, deputy prosecutor Cindy Larsen wrote in court papers that she didn’t believe the evidence showed the boy’s behavior was a sex crime. He won’t have to register as a sex offender.

Before sentencing, the boy underwent a sexual deviancy evaluation, which was reviewed by the judge.

Four other students accused of helping the boy were allowed to enter a diversion program in juvenile court. They were required to meet numerous conditions to avoid criminal prosecution.

The district took disciplinary action against a total of seven boys who were involved at varying levels in the March 1 incident.

The school district did not learn about the attack until the next day, and then reviewed surveillance video from the bus.

The bus driver was put on leave during an investigation through the Washington Schools Risk Management Pool, school district officials said.

The school district has not yet received the results of the investigation, district spokeswoman Jodi Runyon said Friday.

The completed investigation must be reviewed by the district’s human resources department, which would determine whether further action is needed, Runyon said.

The driver has since returned to work in the district. She elected to take a different job and is no longer driving a school bus.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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