A teen accused of attacking a Craig High School staff member pleaded no contest to a reduced charge Tuesday in Rock County Court and could get her record expunged.
Sarai Clark, 17, of 2423 Woodlane Drive, No. 5, Janesville, was originally charged with battery to a school district employee, a felony with a maximum sentence of 3½ years in prison.
In court Tuesday, attorneys announced a plea agreement in which Clark pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery.
The attorneys recommended Clark be sentenced to one year of probation and that if she completes probation successfully, her case be deleted from court records.
Judge John Wood followed the agreement.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Dirks said Clark had never been in trouble with the law before, and she never intended to hurt the secretary, although she did intend to hurt another student.
She has tried to make amends, Dirks said.
Dirks noted several letters of support for Clark from Craig staff members, including the victim.
Probation will be an opportunity for Clark to show that she has learned from her mistake and that it won’t happen again, Dirks said.
Defense attorney James Fitzgerald said the secretary was injured when she tried to break up a fight between two students last October.
Clark has attended the school district’s alternative school known as the Truancy Abatement and Transitional Education Center, and she has completed coursework to graduate and has a job, Fitzgerald said.
Clark declined to speak on her own behalf.
Wood described the incident, saying Clark pushed the other student to the floor, punching and kicking her, and the secretary tried to shield the student with her body, and that’s when she was injured.
The secretary suffered a broken thumbnail, leg bruise and scratches and bruises to an arm, Wood said.
Wood said such behavior “will not be tolerated by a civilized society.”
Wood told Clark she is lucky not to have a felony conviction on her record, and he warned her that if she violations probation rules, he would have no choice but to jail her.
Wood said it appears Clark has an anger-management problem and that the state Probation and Parole Office will likely require her to get treatment for it.