Skip to comments.Mich. judge ridiculed on teens' Web site strikes back
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."
...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!
you didn't read my other posts
i already agreed with all that
your ignorance is excused
your impatient, flying-off-the-handle, look-before-you-leap ignorance is excused
I'm not a real fan of judges a lot of times, but this was an open and shut case on camera.
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.
Best pair of sentences ever.
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?
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..
I've found a new tagline.
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.
It is so easy to see from the three statements at the end which parents are the enablers and which parent has clue.
She did 30 days for contempt and the later (collegiate) drinking offense.
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.
A long week.
There's absolutely nothing improper about this.
"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.
Hey, what about ice-fishing?!;)