Conviction in disability ridicule case

“An Ohio man faces one month of jail time for teasing and taunting a 1o-year-old girl with cerebral palsy after a video of the incident went viral.” Reportes Christina Lopez on ABC Online

“ Judge John A. Poulos of the Canton Municipal Court sentenced 43-year-old William Bailey to 29 days in jail. The taunting occurred on Sept. 26, when Tricia Knight and her mother-in-law were waiting for her children’s bus to return from school. Knight’s three children, including 10-year-old Hope, attend  Walker Elementary with Bailey’s 9-year-old son, Joseph.

“What happened next was caught on an iPod camera by Knight’s mother-in-law, Marie Prince. William Bailey “was dragging his leg and patting his arm across his chest to pick his son Joseph up,” said Knight. “I asked him to please stop doing this. ‘My daughter can see you.’ He then told his son to walk like the R-word.”

“The next day Knight posted the video on her Facebook page while Prince uploaded the video they called “Bus Stop Ignorance” to YouTube. Within days, the video went viral. The Knight family has lived next door to the Baileys for the past two years, and the incident at the bus stop, according to Knight, is the culmination of rising tensions and intimidation against her kids.

“In the days that followed the taunting at the bus stop, the Knight family filed a complaint with Canton City prosecutors. Jennifer Fitzsimmons, the chief assistant city prosecutor for this case, says in the three years she’s been in this role, she’s never seen anything like this.”I think when we look at cases, there’s case law out there regarding people commenting and gesturing against race and religion. But when there’s nothing out there regarding disabilities, it took me a little bit longer to come to a decision.”After Fitzsimmons reviewed the Knight family’s complaint, a police report based on a phone call from the Knight family, and the video captured by Prince, she decided to press charges. “It was settled without Hope having to relive what she saw and how it impacted her,” said Fitzsimmons. “I think the trial could have been just as traumatic as the event itself.” Bailey, who works as a truck driver, was charged twice. He was originally charged for aggravated menacing, a misdemeanor of the first degree. In this charge, the victim was Knight, an incident she says took place the same day as the bus stop scene.

For complete story, see ABC News “man Sentenced to Jail After Teasing Disabled Girl.”’

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/man-sentenced-jail-teasing-disabled-girl-015101432–abc-news-topstories.html

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