Jerry Hill, State Attorney for the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Hill wrote that the case against 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot has been dismissed, but she must complete a diversion program. In a statement issued by
In his statement, Hill who represents all criminal prosecutions in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties also added:
"Based upon the facts and circumstances of the case, the lack of criminal history of the child involved, and the action taken by the Polk County School Board, the State Attorney's Office extended an offer of diversion of prosecution to the child. The child and her guardian signed the agreement to successfully complete the Department of Juvenile Justice Diversion Program."
Although a call to Hill's office for an explanation of the phrase “diversion program,” was not returned, I was able to obtained a Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice Diversion Program manual. Following is Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice definition of a “Diversion Program”:
Youth that repeatedly offend, commit violent crimes, and exhibit characterological deficits (e.g. sociopathy or psychopathy) which increase risk of offending and are not easily treated continue to be adjudicated through the juvenile justice system and sentenced to probation, detention and residential treatment.
Obviously, not a single-line of the above definition applies to the highly intelligent and gifted child; however, Florida appears to have no problem referring to her as a sociopath or psychopath – simply because her science project went wrong.
Additionally, during a recent interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Wilmot's mother, Marie Wilmot said her daughter's arrest was 'traumatic,' and has drained the family's limited finances.
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