An eye for an eye and a tooth for the tooth, one judge said, after he offered to shorten a young girl's sentence if she endured her own crime.
An 11-year-old girl and her friend decided to cut the hair of a 3-year-old girl in an act of bullying. The girls were also accused of harassing another girl over the phone. Mindy Moss, the mother of the 3-year-old, reported the incident to police because she feared that the girls were out of hand.
"I didn't want them to think they got away with it ... It was malicious," Moss told the Associated Press.
When the 11-year-old was taken to juvenile court, she was sentenced to 30 days in detention and 276 days of community service. However, the judge, Scott Johansen of the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission, offered the girl's mother an opportunity to shorten her daughter's sentence if she agreed to cut the girl's hair.
Moss agreed with the sentence and even insisted that the girl's hair be cut to a certain length.
Valerie Bruno accepted the judge's offer and agreed to cut off her daughter's ponytail in the middle of the courtroom. She was then ordered to have her daughter's hair cut as short as the judge himself, but permitted to have the cut done at a salon. Bruno was instructed to bring her daughter back to the court room at a later date in order for the judge to approve of the new length.
Bruno now regrets her decision.
"I guess I should have went into the courtroom knowing my rights, because I felt very intimidated," she told the Deseret News.
The mother has now filed a complaint against the 7th District Juvenile Judge
"An eye for an eye, that's not how you teach kids right from wrong," Bruno stated.