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11-year-old faces prison for throwing rock

UPI | August 3, 2005

An 11-year-old Fresno, Calif., girl faces the possibility of prison time in an after-school rock-throwing incident that has sparked international outrage.

A juvenile trial was set for Wednesday for Maribel Cuevas, who was accused of throwing a 2-pound rock at 8-year-old Elijah Vang in retaliation for the water balloon and insults he threw at her in April.

The rock hit the boy near an eye and caused a gash that needed stitches to close.

Fresno police charged Cuevas with felony assault. The girl faces up to four years in prison if convicted. She was put under house arrest and required to wear an ankle bracelet. Police said the fourth grader's actions were anything but child play.

Defense lawyer Richard Beshwate Jr. told the Los Angeles Times that, while unfortunate that someone got hurt, this behavior does not rise to the level of criminal activity.

Beshwate accused police of brutality in arresting the girl and factual errors.

The case sparked protests as far away as France and as recently as last week, when a multicultural coalition had a vigil backing the girl.

 

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