Families Outraged at Legislator’s Son’s Plea Deal
Privilege and bullying, principles of today’s GOP.
The son of Arizona’s Senate president confessed that he and another counselor shoved broomsticks and flashlights into the rectums of 18 boys in at least 40 incidents at a youth camp in June.
Now Yavapai County prosecutors say they will drop all but one assault charge and likely recommend little or no jail time if 18-year-old Clifton Bennett agrees to plead guilty.
A similar agreement has been offered to co-defendant Kyle Wheeler, 19, who faces an additional assault charge for choking three of the boys until they passed out.
The plea agreements were first presented in court last week and could be completed at a hearing Monday.
Prosecuting attorney James Landis explained the plea agreement in court, saying the “broomsticking” was a hazing ritual and a punishment, not sexual assault.
But legal experts, sex-crimes prosecutors and victims’-rights lawyers say the acts clearly fit the definition of sexual assault.
UPDATE: please note that this article is several years old (2006.) It was freshly tweeted just before I posted it, and I failed to check the date. Apologies, and h/t to Shecky for the correction.