Pasco school bus attacker pleads guilty - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco school bus attacker pleads guilty

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Still frame from video of the beating posted online Still frame from video of the beating posted online
Beating victim Chase Cristia, 16 Beating victim Chase Cristia, 16

Chase Cristia couldn't bear to watch as a prosecutor replayed a 37-second video of the school bus attack that went viral after the attacker's accomplice posted it online.

But in a Pasco Courtroom Thursday the judge watched intently and then told Cristia's 17-year-old female attacker exactly what he thought.

"Your conduct was outrageous," said Pasco Circuit Judge Shawn Crane.

"What do you think when you look at that video?" Crane asked the assailant.

"I can't look at it," she replied.

Moments after the girl pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery for the attack, Crane sentenced her to 270 days probation. She has a curfew from 6 PM to 6 AM, must take anger management courses, and repay Cristia nearly $3,000 in restitution for doctor bills and counseling prompted by the attack.

The entire mess started at Mitchell High School February 1 when Cristia defended another student at school from some bullies—including the attacker.

The bully and her friends threatened to beat Cristia that day at school, but when she complained to a school administrator, the administrator did nothing to stop the violence that unfolded later on the school bus.

At the attacker's sentencing hearing Cristia was too nervous to testify, so the prosecutor read her victim impact statement aloud for the judge.

"What these girls did to me was unprovoked and brutal," Cristia wrote. "I am sorry for them and wonder how awful their lives must be to have so much anger and rage inside of them."

After the sentencing, Cristia said she wants peace both for herself and the girls who preyed on her that day on the school bus.

"I feel for them. I'm not some heartless person that doesn't care," Cristia said. "What they did to me was wrong but I also feel bad they have to through something, too."

Prosecutor Eric Rosario said the attacker's accomplice who recorded the beating on her cell phone and put it on the Interment is the one who "egged on" the attack.  She faces trial September 12 on a misdemeanor battery charge for her role in the assault.

Cristia's mother says her daughter is still recovering from the emotional trauma of the bus beating and has undergone extensive therapy to overcome post traumatic stress and fear of reprisals.

But Chase says she's feeling strong and doesn't regret defending her friend from bullies the day they turned their bully behavior on her.

"I stick up for what I believe in" said Cristia. "And I believe that's a terrible thing."

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