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Mich. judge ridiculed on teens' Web site strikes back
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/ ^ | 1 30 06 | associated press

Posted on 01/31/2006 2:23:59 AM PST by freepatriot32

TROY, Mich. — A judge who sentenced three teenagers to probation for being drunk at their high school prom had them jailed after he saw them drinking and ridiculing him on a Web site one of them created.

"I told them, 'If you think this gives me any pleasure, you're wrong,'" Oakland County District Judge Michael Martone said after sentencing the last of the girls, Amanda Senopole, to 10 days in jail last week.

"You know, it's just a crying shame," Martone said. "I work my butt off trying to help kids like this, trying to figure out what works. And then they do things like this."

Senopole and eight other Troy Athens High School students were caught drinking at their prom last May. They were arraigned before Martone on misdemeanor charges of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Martone, who had appeared at Athens High days before the prom to warn graduating seniors against drinking, sentenced the students to probation, fines, court costs, community service and alcohol-education classes. As a condition of their probation, he ordered them not to drink and to avoid places where alcohol is served or consumed.

Several months later, Martone was looking on the Internet for a news release on one of the many alcohol-prevention programs he has promoted during his 13 years on the bench. He entered his own name into a search engine and came to a site belonging to Mary Meerschaert, one of the Athens students he had sentenced.

His computer screen showed Meerschaert, Senopole and some of the other students who had appeared before him in court — making obscene gestures, chugging shots of Jagermeister liqueur, posing with beer cans stacked nearly to the ceiling and vomiting into toilets.

The Web site's headline included an abbreviated obscenity directed toward the judge.

Meerschaert, by now enrolled at Michigan State University, had used a digital camera to create an Internet photo gallery with students appearing passed out and couples playing a drinking game among its more than 400 images. Many of the picture captions were profane and directed at Martone.

The gallery also showed Senopole, Meerschaert's roommate, and another co-defendant in the prom incident, Rachel Stesney — enrolled at the University of Detroit Mercy — drinking at parties at Michigan State.

"They made a mockery of the legal system," Martone told the Detroit Free Press for a story published on Jan. 27. "I had to do something."

The judge showed the Web site to police and probation officers. It became legal evidence for charging the three women with contempt of court "for disobeying my direct order not to consume alcohol," Martone said.

Meerschaert and Stesney appeared before Martone on Dec. 23. Meerschaert admitted that her Web site did use profanity aimed at Martone, and that she had a drinking problem.

He sentenced her to 30 days in the Oakland County Jail, then sentenced Stesney to 15 days. They shared a cell during Christmas and New Year's Day.

Senopole appeared before Martone last week, telling him: "I have a new roommate now. She doesn't drink." She also said she earned a 3.6 grade-point average in the fall at Michigan State, and pledged she would introduce an alcohol-education program in her dormitory.

Martone doubled Senopole's hours of community service, to 100, but gave her less jail time than Meerschaert and Stesney — 10 days — and let her serve them one at a time, on weekends, "so it doesn't interrupt your studies."

Of the nine students who drank before the prom, two others also have served jail time for later alcohol infractions.

Cheryl Stesney would not let her daughter comment. Martone, she said, "let his anger get out of control. He was just so hurt and embarrassed by that Web site."

Meerschaert's mother, Polly, agreed. "I do feel this is all about vengeance. I won't say my daughter didn't make a mistake. But the minute it became personal, the judge should've removed himself," she said.

"Judge Martone's a fair man," Senopole's father, Tom, said outside the courtroom last week. "She was just in the wrong crowd, wrong time, wrong place."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: aclulist; alcoholism; back; donutwatch; govwatch; judge; libertarians; mich; michigan; on; ridiculed; site; strikes; teendrinking; teendrunkards; teens; troy; web
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To: samtheman
chugging shots of Jagermeister liqueur

...and the way you can ascertain what they were really drinking from website photos is .... ???

Well, not having seen the photot, let me speculate:

The pics may have shown these "perps" posing with shot glasses and holding a bottle of Jaegermeister up proudly.

Now, the Judge's sentence specifically; "[a]s a condition of their probation, he [Judge] ordered them not to drink and to avoid places where alcohol is served or consumed.

His computer screen showed Meerschaert, Senopole and some of the other students who had appeared before him in court — making obscene gestures, chugging shots of Jagermeister liqueur, posing with beer cans stacked nearly to the ceiling and vomiting into toilets."

The perps TOOK PICTURES of their criminal violation of their probation!

They pled Guilty to the charges when brought back in to Court!

Your argument is specious. Excuse denied!

Next?

101 posted on 01/31/2006 8:09:29 AM PST by Itzlzha ("The avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote")
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To: Itzlzha

you didn't read my other posts

i already agreed with all that

your ignorance is excused


102 posted on 01/31/2006 8:11:33 AM PST by samtheman
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To: Itzlzha

make that:

your impatient, flying-off-the-handle, look-before-you-leap ignorance is excused


103 posted on 01/31/2006 8:12:36 AM PST by samtheman
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To: Itzlzha; samtheman
...and the way you can ascertain what they were really drinking from website photos is .... ???

You can't, really, of course, although depending on what exactly was in the photo, you can certainly make a reasonable inference.

It was unnecessary in this case, though, as the first girl the judge brought in chose to try to represent herself, and freely told the judge not only everything he needed to hang her on a probation violation, but to hang her friends (who at least had the intelligence to get lawyers) as well. The "weepy confessional" defense got her the longest sentence.
104 posted on 01/31/2006 8:15:35 AM PST by Turbopilot (Nothing in the above post is or should be construed as legal research, analysis, or advice.)
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To: freepatriot32

I'm not a real fan of judges a lot of times, but this was an open and shut case on camera.


105 posted on 01/31/2006 8:26:38 AM PST by Dan from Michigan ("What does a guy have to do to get fired around here?" - Darryl Rogers, former Lions Coach)
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To: r9etb

Are you suggesting that the judge should have ignored it?

What I'm suggesting is that a criminal record for a few sips
of alcohol is just a bit much. Zero tolerance is out of control just like this judge.


106 posted on 01/31/2006 5:29:19 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Angry_White_Man_Syndrome; Allegra; Xenalyte; Bacon Man; Hap
I take it you have never done shoots Jager. Just picture the photo a bottle of Jager shoot glasses with dark liquid in them.

Best pair of sentences ever.

107 posted on 01/31/2006 5:42:30 PM PST by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: t2buckeye

It can't be proved by looking at a computer monitor that they were drinking, no matter what they showed or said or did. Don't you guys on the judge's side see that?


108 posted on 01/31/2006 6:15:10 PM PST by badgerlandjim (Hillary Clinton is to politics as Helen Thomas is to beauty)
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To: badgerlandjim

Sounds like they admitted to the drinking and were only upset with the punishment...and if the images were videos, which they appear to be, intoxication is pretty evident when the girls are partying and throwing up in the toilet..


109 posted on 01/31/2006 9:39:33 PM PST by t2buckeye
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To: humblegunner

I've found a new tagline.


110 posted on 01/31/2006 10:01:41 PM PST by Xenalyte (Just picture the photo a bottle of Jager shoot glasses with dark liquid in them.)
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To: Labyrinthos

A ball lost in the high grass of the outfield was a ground rule single and one under the bobwire and electric fence was a triple.


Football was always played in mud and more mud.

I never see any sand lot ball of any kind nowdays. I have stopped and watched some T-ball and PeeWee games and am always struck how organized and structured the games are.


111 posted on 01/31/2006 10:25:22 PM PST by razorback-bert
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To: freepatriot32

Great post!
It is so easy to see from the three statements at the end which parents are the enablers and which parent has clue.


112 posted on 01/31/2006 10:29:09 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: JeffAtlanta
A girl is doing 30 days in jail for drinking at her prom.

She did 30 days for contempt and the later (collegiate) drinking offense.

113 posted on 01/31/2006 10:41:05 PM PST by Petronski (I love Cyborg!)
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To: t2buckeye
...used a digital camera to create an Internet photo gallery with students *APPEARING* passed out and couples playing a drinking game among its more than 400 images...
I have the same kind of evidence of Bill Clinton criminally exposing himself.

...Meerschaert admitted that her Web site did use profanity aimed at Martone, and that she had a drinking problem.
No confession of illegal drinking there. Besides, she can't be compelled to testify against herself. The burden is on the judge. I say he overstepped, but he'll get away with it. They're just kids. He'd know better than to try that crap on an adult who might defend himself and make the judge look bad. He gets away with bullying them out of anger. INMHO.
114 posted on 01/31/2006 10:46:08 PM PST by badgerlandjim (Hillary Clinton is to politics as Helen Thomas is to beauty)
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To: jimtorr

IMHO, it's the idiot mothers who should go to jail. It seems to me that they are the ones who have enabled their girls to be drunken idiots who despise authority.<<<<<<<<<<<

You can say that again. These women cripple their kids by excusing their behavior and not letting them feel the consequences for their actions. I admire the Dad who got the point, his kid is the luckiest of the bunch; maybe she'll turn out not to be shallow and self-absorbed.


115 posted on 01/31/2006 10:58:12 PM PST by Mjaye
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To: freepatriot32
sentencing the last of the girls . . . to 10 days in jail last week

A long week.

116 posted on 01/31/2006 11:03:07 PM PST by aposiopetic
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To: freepatriot32
He didn't recuse himself because they violated an order that he gave them.

There's absolutely nothing improper about this.

L

117 posted on 01/31/2006 11:07:17 PM PST by Lurker (I trust in God. Everybody else shows me their hands.)
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To: kittymyrib

"I'm sure they didn't walk to these binges and were driving drunk."

Actually they took a Limo to the prom where this girl blew a .02. I'd say they were being responsible consumers of alcohol and that a .02 BAC is very far away from a binge experience.

To bad she is of the age to take a bullet protecting our freedom, vote for her representatives, get married but not old enough to consume a beer.


118 posted on 02/01/2006 7:52:25 AM PST by CSM (Lick a finger, politicize the wind, and place the finger into the wind. - EGPWS, 1/26/2006)
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To: MAD-AS-HELL

Hey, what about ice-fishing?!;)


119 posted on 02/01/2006 2:48:12 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: sitetest

Well said.


120 posted on 02/01/2006 3:00:59 PM PST by jonathanmo
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To: badgerlandjim
I take it you haven't seen the photos. I certainly haven't. But if you have photos of folks drinking shots of what looks like Jager, photos of Jager bottles, photos of people passed-out, photos of people throwing-up, etc., then there is a permissible inference that alcohol is involved. If you choose to argue otherwise, tell it to the judge. [chortle]
121 posted on 02/01/2006 3:01:46 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: JeffAtlanta
You are in error. She was not tried or charged for any offense beyond drinking at the prom. Since she was not charged or tried on those offenses, there is no way that she can serve time for them.

Close...but no cigar. She violated the terms of her sentence of probation after being arraigned before Martone on misdemeanor charges of being a minor in possession of alcohol. This gives the judge wide latitude in pronouncing final sentencing. She's lucky he didn't slap on a contempt of court charge.

A judge who sentenced three teenagers to probation for being drunk at their high school prom had them jailed after he saw them drinking and ridiculing him on a Web site one of them created....
As a condition of their probation, he ordered them not to drink and to avoid places where alcohol is served or consumed.

122 posted on 02/01/2006 3:54:57 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Crime cannot be tolerated. Criminals thrive on the indulgences of society's understanding.)
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