A teenage girl in Los Angeles harassed another girl on social media for months before stabbing her multiple times during a fight in the park, causing serious injuries and hospitalization. But thanks to liberal Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón's "restorative justice" policy, the juvenile attacker got only probation.
What are the details?
In a statement to the victim's family, the prosecutor in the case explained the controversial decision to file only one misdemeanor count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of electronic harassment against a minor.
"We filed appropriate charges on this case considering George Gascón’s new emphasis on restorative justice as guided by the science and data," the prosecutor said, according to KTTV-TV.
The incredibly lenient punishment has left 13-year-old victim Elisyannah Valdez and her mother, Cassandra Cisneros, distraught and angry.
Cisneros, a former criminal justice activist, tearfully lamented to the outlet: "When I was fighting for these laws to change for these young people, never did we intend for somebody to commit premeditated attempted murder at 13 years old and get completely away with it."
"I’m livid because that little girl is running around doing whatever she wants scot-free while my baby girl's home suffering from [post traumatic stress disorder], you know, afraid to leave the house, constantly looking out her window," the mother said.
Elisyannah suffered three stab wounds and a slash in her arm during an altercation with the suspect, another 13-year-old girl. The attack — which took place at a park in Inglewood near both the attacker's and the victim's homes — was captured on video.
13-year-old who stabbed girl multiple times gets probation under Gascón’s policy www.youtube.com
The two girls appeared to be involved in a fist fight over a boy when the attacker suddenly pulled out a knife from her back pocket and started stabbing Elisyannah.
According to Cisneros, the knife "punctured her [daughter's] liver, her kidneys, her diaphragm, and her pericardial sac," which caused internal bleeding. Doctors had to operate immediately in order to save her life. Thankfully, Elisyannah has since recovered.
Cisneros argues the attack was clearly "premeditated." The stabber had allegedly been harassing her daughter with frequent text message and social media threats for nearly a year.
"She had this obsession with me because of the boy across the street. She thought we were dating, which we weren’t, we were just friends," Elisyannah said in an interview with KTTV. "She called me ugly, fat, she talked about my grandma, said my grandma's burning in hell and F my dead grandma."
The outlet reported that after the stabbing, the attacker posted a message on social media, tagging the boy at the center of the feud, saying, "Would you love me more, If I killed someone for you?"
Elisyannah said, "It just makes me think even more that she's crazy. That she needs help, mental help." That much, at least, is slated to be included as part of the girl's sentencing.
The outlet contacted Gascón's office seeking an on-camera interview regarding the case, but the district attorney reportedly refused.
Instead, Alex Bastian, a special adviser to Gascón, sent a statement, saying, "In this assault case, the 13-year-old minor had no criminal record. This disposition takes into account the safety of the victim and looks to prevent future harm by ensuring the minor also receives treatment."
The liberal district attorney has come under fire several times in recent months following the announcement of his controversial policy, which prohibits trying juveniles as adults.
Earlier this year, a biological male transgender 26-year-old was sentenced to just two years in a juvenile detention facility after violently molesting a 10-year-old girl when the criminal was two weeks shy of turning 18.
Outrage over that case and others quickly led to widespread opposition to Gascón among Los Angeles prosecutors. In February, a whopping 98% of them voted to support a recall effort.