AMHERST (CBS/AP) – Statutory rape charges have been dropped against a sixth teen after three others admitted admitted they participated in the bullying of a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl who later committed suicide.
The district attorney announced Thursday the charges against 19-year-old Austin Renaud have been dropped as per the request of the Phoebe Prince family. He was set to face the statutory rape charges in July.
WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.
Ashley Longe admitted to sufficient facts to a charge of criminal harassment in the bullying of Prince, a freshman at South Hadley High School who hanged herself in January 2010.
The charge will be dismissed if Longe successfully completes a year of probation. She also must complete 100 hours of community service.
Under a plea deal approved by Prince’s family, prosecutors agreed to drop more serious charges.
Longe admitted that on the day Prince died, she yelled disparaging remarks at Prince and also threw a beverage can at her as she walked home from school that day.
Prince’s mother says Longe expressed “genuine remorse” when the two met Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Flannery Mullins admitted to sufficient facts to two misdemeanor charges, acknowledging that prosecutors could win a conviction if the case went to trial.
The two counts are a civil rights violation without bodily injury and disturbing a school assembly. Under a plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of stalking and criminal harassment.
Mullins will be on probation until she turns 19 in January 2012 and must perform 100 hours of community service.
Sharon Chanon Velazquez
Sharon Chanon Velazquez admitted to sufficient facts to a misdemeanor charge of criminal harassment Thursday, acknowledging that prosecutors could win a conviction.
Under a plea deal, prosecutors dropped a more serious civil rights charge against the 17-year-old Velazquez in the bullying of Phoebe. Velazquez was sentenced to probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. Prince’s family asked her to voluntarily do an additional 50 hours of community service.
Two others reached their pleas on Wednesday. A sixth student faces statutory rape charges at a later date.
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