Q: To prove the boys engaged in criminal sexual harassment, the prosecution
has to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that there was offensive
"The offensiveness standard is measured by a reasonable person's
standard," said Doug Beloof, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School.
"Would a reasonable person in similar circumstances believe the contact
A: Mark Lawrence, who represents Mashburn, said terms of the settlements are confidential. Oregon law allows such civil compromises in cases that involve minor criminal charges such as misdemeanor sexual harassment. Arrested in February Cornelison and Mashburn were arrested in February after a teacher's aide saw them running down the hall swatting girls on the rear. They later admitted, under interrogation by a police officer, that they'd also poked or touched girls on the breast in the past. They were charged with felony sex abuse and spent five days in juvenile detention. The school imposed a five-day suspension on each boy, but that became moot after a judge ordered them to leave school pending the criminal case against them. The seventh-graders missed nearly half of the school year. Initial felony charges were reduced to misdemeanor sex abuse in May. In a pretrial hearing this month, Collins dropped all the sex abuse charges at Markham's request. Each of the remaining harassment charges carries a maximum one-year sentence in juvenile detention, but prosecutors say jail time is now unlikely for the boys.
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