LOS ANGELES –
A California mother must pay more than $9,000 in damages and apologize to a teenage basketball player she told her daughter to hit in a youth basketball game in 2021, a judge has said. ruling on Wednesday.
The woman’s daughter punched her opponent in the neck and she fell to the ground, concussion. The punch was captured on mobile phone video.
The mother, Latira Shonty Hunt, was criminally charged last year with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one misdemeanor battery charge. She faces a year in prison.
An Orange County judge allowed Hunt, 44, to participate in a diversion program that included a written apology letter, restitution and anger management classes before she could attend. basketball games. She must also stay away from the victim.
“An adult directing a child to use violence against another child on a basketball court is reprehensible,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a press release. “By instructing her daughter to engage in violence, she is not only responsible for causing injury to an innocent child as if she had punched her own hand, but also for turning her child into a willing hurt another child.”
Her attorney, Brett Greenfield, said in a statement that the criminal case would be dropped if Hunt complied with the diversion scheme. Lawyers said Hunt and her daughter must be held accountable for their actions.
“Multiple sclerosis. Hunt and her daughter can now begin to heal,” Greenfield said. “Unfortunately, this incident has opened the doors of social media for many individuals to make statements. directly with Ms. Hunt and her teenage daughters. These statements have been contaminated with racism, bigotry, intimidation, humiliation, bullying and more. The harm created will persist. at a lifetime”.
Attorneys for the teen victim’s family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The basketball game takes place on November 7, 2021, when two club teams play in a tournament in the city of Garden Grove near Los Angeles.
Hunt yelled at her daughter “you better hit her for that” after a physical play, prosecutors said.
Her daughter then threw a punch and the 15-year-old victim collapsed on the floor like a rag doll, Spitzer said when Hunt was charged last year.
“In my view, that’s not going to happen, but because of your mother’s words,” Spitzer said in December. He said Hunt’s words “were the catalyst” that made her daughter “even think about it.” “Punch that girl.
The girl who threw the punch was the daughter of former NBA player Corey Benjamin, who apologized shortly after he watched video of the game last year. His professional career includes appearances with the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and overseas teams.
“As a father, I am shocked and disappointed by my daughter’s behavior as it is not a reflection of the values and standards my family holds. It also fails to embody the values, character and athleticism that the game of basketball entails,” Benjamin said in a statement at the time.