TAMPA — A case that began last year with shocking accusations of a locker room rape at Walker Middle School came to an anti-climactic end Wednesday, when the last of four teenage defendants was sentenced to juvenile probation.
Randall Moye, 15, was the first to accept a plea deal with prosecutors early this year that reduced his four sexual battery charges to one felony battery charge, in exchange for cooperation in the prosecution of the others. On Wednesday, assistant state attorney Kimberly Hindman said Moye complied.
All the other defendants have been punished. Lee Louis Myers, 15, entered a pretrial intervention program in August. Diemante Roberts, 16, and Raymond Price-Murray, 15, later accepted plea deals for felony battery charges, each receiving five years of adult probation. None will be labeled sex offenders. And none, unless they violate agreements, will spend a day in jail.
The victim and his family did not go to court Wednesday. They told a prosecutor they hoped that with this final chapter, reporters would stop knocking on their door and their son could start trying to move on.
In May 2009, the victim told authorities that Price-Murray and Roberts used a broom handle and hockey stick to assault him while Moye and Myers held him down.
Roberts, Price-Murray and Myers will have to speak to their peers about the adverse effects of hazing and bullying.
Moye will need to write the victim a letter of apology.
Circuit Judge Chet A. Tharpe told Moye he must also complete 100 community service hours, remain in school, have no violent contact with anyone and go to counseling. Once he meets all those requirements, the Department of Juvenile Justice can move to terminate his probation.
Moye did not speak in court or after the hearing, but his public defender Maura Doherty said he was remorseful for his role in the crime. Hindman said the victim's family wanted Moye and the others to be punished, but also wanted them to move forward after this and become productive members of society.
Alexandra Zayas can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3354.