Santa Clara teens plead guilty to May kidnapping

Crime • Teens won't serve time unless they fail to comply with court order.
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Three Santa Clara teens who — as a prank — grabbed a young jogger and threw her in the back of their locked, covered pickup, have pleaded guilty in juvenile court to felony kidnapping.

Angela Adams, a Washington County juvenile prosecutor, said the three boys — two who are 16 and the other 17 — pleaded guilty last month to third-degree felony kidnapping. They were all sentenced to 30 days in juvenile detention and probation. Those sentences were suspended as long as the teens don't commit any additional crimes, complete a victimization treatment program, pay restitution to the victim and stay away from the girl except to complete a victim-offender mediation program administered through juvenile court.

Adams said the victim and her family asked that the teens not be locked up for their crime.

"They just really wanted them to understand how this affected the victim and is continuing to affect her," she said. "Certainly it was a bad, bad decision."

Adams said the teens, who have no criminal history, had decided in May that it would be fun to kidnap someone at random.

She said the teens removed their shirts, donned rubber masks and just happened to come across their 14-year-old victim as she was out jogging near her Santa Clara home. The teens claim they hadn't specifically targeted that girl in particular.

The girl, who was unrestrained, managed to escape and remembered enough information about the incident for police to track down the vehicle and the boys.

Adams said the girl suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident and is currently undergoing counseling.

The Salt Lake Tribune does not typically identify juveniles charged with crimes.

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