A 17-year-old girl has been sentenced to probation and a host of other requirements for being the erratic driver in a hazing incident during Farmington High School's homecoming weekend that involved seniors "kidnapping" four juniors and locking two of them in a car trunk as part of a "war" on the younger class.
The girl pleaded guilty late Tuesday to gross misdemeanor criminal-vehicular operation, specifically exercising gross negligence that resulted in bodily harm, in connection with the incident on Sept. 28.
Dakota County District Judge Michael Mayer sentenced the teen to six months of probation and 25 hours of community work service. She also must attend a safe-driving course, attend a "victim empathy" class and write letters of apology to the four victims. A misdemeanor count of assault in the fifth degree was dismissed.
The girl's identity was not made public, because of her age and the fact that she was not charged with a felony.
There were 15 other juveniles and young adults involved in the incident, and they have accepted the county's offer to participate in an accountability program for the offense of misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The 15 will attend an educational class, pay restitution if owed and complete community work service hours.
"We are pleased to have resolved this matter and that all of the youth involved have accepted responsibility for their actions," said County Attorney James Backstrom. "We are hopeful the victims and the community can move forward."
With two students in the trunk and two more forced into the back seat, the driver took them on a joy ride, with students in other vehicles tagging along.
The car with the abducted juniors was involved in a fender bender in front of the high school after midnight. Several seniors and juniors described the 17-year-old girl as driving at a high rate of speed, taking corners too fast and behaving recklessly, authorities said.
A police officer interviewed 23 students about the prank. The students said that six juniors drove to the 17-year-old girl's house to "kidnap" her. When they pulled up to the house, they were surrounded by seniors who kidnapped them instead.