It’s as if it never happened.
A judge sentenced three Muslim refugee boys in the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in Idaho, but nobody knows the length or terms of the sentence because the judge has barred everyone in the courtroom, including the victim’s own parents, from speaking about the case.
The three boys — two from Iraq ages 7 and 10, and one from Sudan aged 14 — pleaded guilty in juvenile court in April to multiple counts of sex crimes in an incident that occurred last June in Twin Falls. The assault occurred at Fawnbrook Apartments, when 5-year-old Jayla, who is developmentally disabled, was lured into a laundry room, stripped of her clothing and sexually assaulted while the oldest boy filmed the entire incident.
Now, following a sentencing hearing Monday at the Snake River Juvenile Detention Center in Twin Falls, Judge Thomas Borresen of Idaho’s 5th Judicial District issued a gag order preventing everyone in the courtroom from saying anything about the sentence received by the boys.
Borresen did allow the family to say they were unhappy with the sentencing but threatened to jail them for contempt of court if they say why they are unhappy.
The family’s attorney also told WND he was bound by the judge’s gag order.
Mark Guerry sent the following text message to WND:
“Sorry but I am forbidden by court order from discussing anything that has gone on in the proceedings, especially the outcome of the sentencing. This is a juvenile case, which by its nature makes it a closed proceeding, and the judge has made it clear again that anyone who discusses it with the media, etc., will be held in contempt. Sorry but my hands are tied. All I can do is tell you the parents were not satisfied with the results of this case. They were especially upset with the prosecutor’s repeated statements in the media defending the juvenile defendants, rather than focusing on the victim. I can’t say anymore.”
Mathew Staver, chairman and co-founder of the nonprofit legal assistance agency Liberty Counsel, told WND that Judge Borresen was completely out of line in issuing a gag order after the fact in a criminal case.
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