Two men — one of them a teacher — have been sentenced for a “degrading” act of vigilantism in which they took part in the beating of one teen, then urinated on the clothing of another after he was ordered to strip naked.
“It was essentially bullying on steroids,” Judge Donovan Dvorak remarked during the recent sentencing of one offender in Virden provincial court.
Travis Delbert Mealy, 28, and Curtis Joel Plett, 29, both recently pleaded guilty to assault and mischief for the events at a Hamiota-area campground in the early morning of Aug. 4.
The following details of what happened were shared in court by their lawyers and Crown attorneys during their separate sentencings.
Mealy, Plett and friends — described as a large group that included men in their 20s — were drinking around a campfire when two teens — one 19 and the other 16 — hurled full cans of beer at the group twice.
The first time, two to three beer cans missed and the folks around the fire made an unsuccessful attempt to find the people responsible.
The second time, a can hit one of the women in the campsite and Mealy, Plett and their group chased after the teens and cornered them inside horse stalls.
A number of people then punched the 19-year-old, who later needed stitches to repair his lip.
Besides being punched, he was grabbed by the throat and his head pushed to the ground repeatedly.
Mealy grabbed the older boy, but denied striking him and pleaded guilty to assault as a party to the offence. Plett confessed to kicking the victim.
The mob of adults didn’t beat the younger boy because he was 16 years old.
Instead, the younger teen was told — it’s not clear by who — to strip, which he did. Mealy and Plett then peed on the boy’s clothing.
The boy was left to find his way home naked. He ran off and managed to find the 19-year-old who’d fled after being attacked, borrowed his shorts and returned later to retrieve his urine-soaked clothes.
During Mealy’s sentencing last Friday, Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup described the treatment of the younger youth as “degrading,” “humiliating” and “disgusting.”
“This was really just vigilantism … this was just pure bullying,” Lonstrup said.
Judge Donovan Dvorak sentenced Mealy to 60 days house arrest followed by one year of probation.
Plett — a high school teacher — was sentenced before Judge John Combs in mid-February and received a nine-month conditional discharge that gives him a chance to maintain a clean criminal record. As part of the order, Plett has to do 40 hours of community service work.
A number of other adults received conditional discharges for the assault on the older teen.
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