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Mother has to pay $9,000 for telling daughter to hit sports opponent

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California mother must pay more than $9,000 in damages and apologize to a teenage basketball player who told her to hit her daughter during a 2021 youth basketball game. a judge ruled on Wednesday.

The woman’s daughter hit him in the neck, causing him to fall to his court and suffer a concussion. Her punch was captured on cell phone video.

Her mother, Latira Shonty Hunt, was charged last year with one count of misdemeanor and one count of assault for complicity in the delinquency of a minor. She faced up to her one year in prison.

An Orange County judge allowed Hunt, 44, to participate in a distraction program that included a written apology letter, compensation and an anger management class before attending a basketball game. She must also stay away from her victims.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a news release, “It should be reprehensible for a grown adult to direct a child to beat another child on the basketball court.” Not only was he responsible for hurting an innocent child as if he had hit him with his own fist, but he also turned his own child into someone who would happily hurt another child.”

If Hunt complies with the diversion program, the criminal case will be dismissed, her attorney, Brett Greenfield, said in a statement.The attorney said Hunt and her daughter were responsible for their actions. rice field.

“MS. Hunt and her daughter can now begin to heal,” Greenfield said. Social media doors were opened to make direct statements.These statements were infected with racism, prejudice, intimidation, humiliation, bullying, etc. The harm caused will last a lifetime.”

A lawyer for the teenage victim’s family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The basketball game took place on November 7, 2021, when two club teams faced off in a tournament held in the city of Garden Grove, near Los Angeles.

After the physical play, Hunt yelled at his daughter, “You better hit her,” prosecutors said.

Her daughter then threw a punch and the 15-year-old victim crumpled “on the floor like a rag doll,” Spitzer said when Hunt was indicted last year.

“In my opinion, it wouldn’t have happened, but with your mom’s words,” Spitzer said in December. “It got me thinking,” he said.

The girl who threw the punch is the daughter of former NBA player Corey Benjamin, who apologized shortly after watching video of the game last year. was included.

“As a father, I am shocked and disappointed by my daughter’s behavior because it does not reflect the values ​​and standards my family holds. Nor does it exemplify character, character or spirit,” Benjamin said in a statement at the time.