William M. Bailey was sentenced to nearly a month in jail Tuesday after he was accused of mocking 10-year-old Hope Holcomb (Image source: WJW-TV)
A northeast Ohio man accused of making fun of a young girl with cerebral palsy has been sentenced to nearly a month in jail.
Canton Municipal Judge John A. Poulos gave William M. Bailey, 43, the maximum sentence Tuesday after Bailey pleaded no contest to reduced misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated menacing, the Canton Repository reported. He will report to jail in January to begin a 29-day jail sentence and will pay more than $400 in court costs and fines.
Bailey and his 9-year-old son were caught on video apparently mimicking their 10-year-old neighbor Hope Holcomb's limp. The footage went viral last month, though Bailey insisted he was not mocking Holcomb and was reacting only to name-calling directed at his son, the newspaper reported.
A statement distributed by Bailey's attorney after the court hearing said: "To Hope and her family, please accept my apology for my inappropriate behavior. I know that my actions were immature and lacked the respect you deserve. I didn’t realize the impact this incident would have upon both of our families and I truly regret it.”
Bailey also wrote a direct apology to Holcomb. Her mother, Tricia Knight, told the Repository: “I know he doesn’t mean it. I know it’s crap.”
Knight said her daughter has been deeply upset by the incident.
“She wants the blinds closed. She doesn’t want to be outside,” Knight said.