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The trial of Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 14, 2007 01:39 PM

A few weeks ago, Mark Steyn wrote about the insane case of two boys in Oregon charged with multiple counts of felony sexual abuse, banned from school and forbidden any contact with their friends after being accused of swatting the behinds of fellow classmates.

Well, there’s an update. Via Orbusmax, the harassment charges have been upheld:

Two 13-year-old boys charged with sex harassment will stand trial, a judge ruled Monday.

The boys are accused of swatting the bottoms and poking or grabbing the breasts of classmates at Patton Middle School in McMinnville.

Their defenders have made an issue of the decision to prosecute Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison, arguing that the matter didn’t rise to the level of a criminal offense and should have been handled by school officials.

Last week, Presiding Judge John Collins dismissed misdemeanor sex abuse charges, which means the two no longer face the prospect of lifetime registration as sex offenders.

Defense lawyers hoped to have all the charges dismissed Monday and said the adverse decision was a blow.

“It’s very frustrating, very intense to me” said Tracie Mashburn, mother of Cory. “It’s not over. It’s not done yet. There’s still a hope and a chance.”

And now, there are charges of prosecutors withholding evidence:

The defense in a contentious battle over sexual harassment charges against middle school students has accused prosecutors of withholding evidence.

A motion says that until its existence was disclosed last week, the district attorney’s office failed to give the defense a February police report in which a female Patton Middle School student disputes an officer’s account of the behavior of two boys.

The two are are accused of swatting the bottoms and poking or grabbing the breasts of classmates, as well as engaging in “party boy” dancing inspired by the movie “Jackass.”

Prosecutors have a legal obligation to produce evidence that might help the accused. The boys’ lawyers argue that failure to do is cause for throwing out the charges.

Judge John Collins was to continue hearing arguments Tuesday after denying the motion of defense lawyers to dismiss the remaining charges against Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison, both 13.

A trial, if held, would begin Monday.

The Oregonian obtained a copy of the police report:

Although the contents weren’t discussed at Monday’s hearing, The Oregonian was able to review a copy. In the Feb. 28 report, a female Patton student and her mother dispute Roache’s account of an interview with the girl a week earlier concerning “party-boy” dancing.

In his initial police report Feb. 22, Roache said the girl told him that Mashburn and Cornelison writhed up against her in a sexually suggestive form of dance. Roache described the moves as “party-boy dancing” from the movie “Jackass.”

But in the Feb. 28 report, taken by a different McMinnville police officer, the girl said there was never any touching involved and that she did not believe Mashburn or Cornelison should be charged with a crime.

Two other female students also disputed Roache’s police report during a hearing in February. The girls testified that they felt pressured under questioning from Tillery and Roache to say things that weren’t true.

You can watch a video interview of the boys here and judge them for yourselves. The Oregonian has also helpfully posted court docs and police report pdfs.

Looks like a clear-cut case of PC run amok to me.

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