Pasco teen accepts plea deal in school bus beating
NEW PORT RICHEY - A teenager involved in a school bus beating that made national headlines accepted a plea deal Thursday. Dominique Thorne, 17, was charged with first-degree misdemeanor battery after she was filmed attacking 16-year-old Chase Cristia on Feb. 1 on a bus ride home from Mitchell High School. She will receive 270 days of probation. Some of the conditions of her probation include a strict curfew, no access to social media, anger management classes and a letter of apology to Cristia. Thorne will also testify against the 16-year-old girl who recorded the attack. According to assistant state attorney Eric Rosario, the 16-year-old encouraged Thorne to fight Cristia and posted the video on Facebook. Cristia wrote a statement about the attack that Rosario read during Thursday's hearing. Cristia said the past five months have been difficult for her and her family. "My bruises have healed, but the mental scars will only improve with time," she said in the letter. "What these girls did to me was unprovoked and brutal. If the physical part of this wasn't bad enough, they only made it worse by posting it all over the Internet."Cristia left the courtroom before the video was shown during the hearing. Her mother, Tracy Cristia, wiped tears from her eyes throughout the hearing. Circuit Judge Shawn Crane called Thorne's conduct outrageous and said there was no excuse for her behavior. "It's supposed to be a safe place," he said. "You put your children on a bus, you expect them to be safe."Cristia did not fight back during the attack, according to a sheriff's office report. She covered herself with her arms as she was being struck on her head and shoulders. She did not sustain any serious injuries, according to the sheriff's office.