A Utah judge ordered a mother to chop off her daughter’s ponytail, saying he would reduce the teenage defendant’s community service sentence if she did so.
The unusual punishment was proposed by District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen after the teen had been found guilty of cutting several inches of hair from the head of a 3-year-old toddler at a McDonald’s restaurant, MSNBC reports.
“I felt very intimidated. An eye for an eye, that’s not how you teach kids right from wrong.”
Kaytlen Lopan, 13, was initially told she must pay restitution to the victims, spend 30 days in detention, and serve 276 hours of community service. Yet after sentence had been passed, Johansen said he would not want his own daughter spending time in on community service with what he termed “the work crew.” It was then, reports KSL, that the judge offered Lopan and Bruno an “option”:
“I will cut [the community service] by 150 hours if you want to cut her hair right now. I’ll go get a pair of scissors and we’ll whack that ponytail off.”
After Bruno had cut her daughter’s hair, Mindy Moss, the mother of the 3-year-old victim, was asked whether enough had been removed for her liking. Moss said she felt more should be lopped off, so Johansen ordered Bruno to “take it off clear up to the rubber band.”
Lopan carried out her crime with an 11-year-old friend. Judge Johansen ordered the younger defendant to have her hair cut short also, though said she would be allowed to use a salon.