BOWLING GREEN — With the blessing of Bowling Green State University men’s basketball coach Louis Orr, Wood County Juvenile Judge David Woessner has agreed to defer, and possibly dismiss, ethnic intimidation charges against two teens.
The boys admitted they drew a swastika and wrote “white power” in chalk on the driveway of the coach’s home in the Stone Ridge Golf Club neighborhood in October. The coach, who is black, contacted police after his wife saw the markings outside their home.
Judge Woessner said Friday he found the two boys delinquent of criminal mischief but deferred a finding on an ethnic intimidation charge against each teen for five months.
The boys were placed on probation, ordered to have no contact with the Orr family or property but to write a formal letter of apology, and to perform community service. One youth was ordered to do 24 hours of community service, while the other, who initially spent three days in the juvenile detention center and 30 days on house arrest, was ordered to perform 12 hours of community service.
“I relied very heavily on the representation of the state and the one defense attorney that the recommendations were based on the mediation with Coach Orr,” the judge said.
Coach Orr confirmed he’d had a productive meeting with the two young men.
“They apologized. I accepted their apology,” he said. “God has forgiven me for my transgressions, and I believe young folks, they don’t always know the consequences of their actions or the power of words. ... I just hope from this point on they learn from it and lead productive lives and lives where they treat everyone with respect and love.”
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said if the two boys comply with the court’s orders, his office will ask for the ethnic intimidation charges to be dropped at the end of the five months.
“We ensured, after taking the unusual step of giving Coach Orr the opportunity to speak to the boys, that he was certainly more comfortable in thinking that this was more of a stupid prank than any kind of real anti-ethnic statement,” Mr. Dobson said. “He wanted the right thing to be done with these boys.”
Mr. Dobson said while the boys will remain under the court’s supervision for the next few months, the court will get to find out “whether or not they were earnest in their apology and understanding of how offensive their conduct was.”
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