The L.A. District Attorney’s Office will be referring the case involving members of the Santa Monica High School wrestling team to their Juvenile Offender Intervention Network (J.O.I.N.) as a pre-filing referral, the Santa Monica Police Department announced today.
On June 21, SMPD began investigating an alleged hate crime regarding a May 4 incident in which a black wrestler found a brown wrestling dummy suspended by a rope around its neck. Shortly afterwards, the wrestler was also strapped to his locker by two of his teammates with a chain from a belt loop on his pants. His teammates also allegedly made racial remarks, which included “slave for sale.”
J.O.I.N. is an arbitration process to deal with juvenile offenses.
SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said to participate in the program, parents and youthful offenders agree to the terms of a J.O.I.N. contract.
“In the contract, juvenile offenders acknowledge responsibility for their acts and agree to pay restitution, maintain good school attendance, and perform community service,” Lewis said. “Parents agree to attend parenting classes, and all families are referred to group counseling.”
Cases are intensely supervised and monitored by the hearing officer for one year.
If the minor re-offends or fails to adhere to the J.O.I.N. contract, the original case is referred for prosecution, Lewis said.