A 13-year-old girl in Utah, charged with assault after cutting off a 3-year-old girl’s hair at a local McDonald’s playland, was offered a lighter sentence by the judge if she cut off her own hair in court.
In March, Kaytlen Lopan and a friend were at McDonald’s when they met a 3-year-old girl. According to the police report, they befriended the girl and gained her trust. The two then decided together to cut off the young girl’s hair, and asked McDonald’s employees for scissors. When the employees said no, the girls walked across the street to the dollar store and bought a pair. When they returned, they took turns cutting the 3-year-old’s hair.
Lopan was charged with assault, and taken to court. She was also being charged in a separate case where she made months of harassing phone calls to another teen, threatening her with rape and mutilation. 7th District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen ordered Lopan to serve 30 days in detention, pay restitution, and serve 276 hours of community service. He then offered to lighten the sentence by 150 hours if the girl’s mother cut off Lopan’s ponytail in court.
“I’m going to give you this option: I will cut that by 150 hours if you want to cut her hair right now,” Johansen said.
“Me, cut her hair?” Valerie Bruno, Lopan’s mother asked.
“Right now,” the judge said. “I’ll go get a pair of scissors and we’ll whack that ponytail off.”
“Take it off clear up to the rubberband,” the judge told Bruno.
Mindy Moss, the mother of the child whose hair was cut, agreed with the move. ”Why shouldn’t she get her hair cut?” she said. “The other little girl had to get her hair cut. It fits the crime.”
The 11-year-old girl who helped Lopan was also ordered to have her hair cut short, which she did at a salon.
Bruno now regrets taking the judge up on his offer. ”I guess I should have went into the courtroom knowing my rights, because I felt very intimidated,” she said. “An eye for an eye, that’s not how you teach kids right from wrong.” She has filed a complaint against the judge. ”She definitely needed to be punished for what had happened,” she said. “But I never dreamt it would be that much of a punishment.”
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