Hartford High student's child molesting case moved out of adult court to the youthful offender program
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Hartford High School student who had been facing the prospect, how ever unlikely, of a sentence of up to life in prison as the result of a child molesting charge that was filed against him last month got a major break on Wednesday.
Judge Timothy Tomasi agreed to a defense motion requesting that the case against 16-year-old Cameron LeBlanc of Quechee be transferred from the adult criminal court where it had originally been filed over to the state’s “youthful offender program.”
Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney Heidi Remick did not oppose the motion to transfer during Wednesday’s hearing although she noted that the Department of Children and Families still has to complete an evaluation of LeBlanc and the juvenile court also has to formally agree to accept the case before it is a fait accompli.
Assuming that LeBlanc is picked up by the juvenile justice system he would not undergo a trial and he would not receive a conviction or formal sentence of any kind but he would likely be expected to complete appropriate treatment programming and could be supervised by the youth equivalent of probation up to age 23 in Vermont.
Because admission to the program is almost automatic at this point, LeBlanc’s case disappeared off the adult court’s radar as soon as the judge announced Wednesday that he was prepared to “proceed down the youthful offender road.” That means, unless the case were to be returned to adult court in the future due to some failure to comply with the terms of the youthful offender program, the charge against LeBlanc ceases to exist as far as the court is concerned and even the original case file that accompanied the felony charge is no longer a public document.
According to that original affidavit filed with the court by Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Kevin Hughes, the alleged incident took place in June in a neighboring town and involved a brief encounter with a six-year-old boy who immediately ran to a nearby residence and reported it to his mother.
Detective Hughes wrote that the mother told investigators that she immediately confronted LeBlanc who, without giving any details, allegedly admitted to her “that he had done some inappropriate things and that he was sorry,” adding that LeBlanc was allegedly “unable to tell (the child’s mother) what had happened or why it had happened.”
Court records indicate that LeBlanc was previously arrested by the Hartford Police Department and charged, back when he was 13 years old, with lewd & lascivious conduct with a child but the records do not indicate any final outcome for that case. That is not unusual given that LeBlanc would have fallen squarely within the juvenile justice system and its confidentiality guidelines at that age.
LeBlanc had been scheduled to return to Hartford High School this fall but during a recent hearing his mother explained to the court that school officials had barred LeBlanc from attending as a regular student and instead they have been allowing him to take courses at night so he can continue to work toward his high school diploma.
LeBlanc at his arraignment last month with defense attorney Robert Lees
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