Mother who encouraged daughter to punch basketball opponent is ordered to pay $9,000 and write apologies

A La Puente mother who encouraged her daughter to hit another player during an Orange County youth basketball game must pay $9,000 and apologize to the teen who was hit in the neck, a judge said Wednesday ordered.

“You better beat her for that,” Latira Shonty Hunt was heard telling her 14-year-old daughter during a game at the MAP Sports Facility in Garden Grove on Nov. 7.

Video shows Hunt’s daughter walking down the pitch after missing a shot. Immediately after Hunt’s comment, the teen turns on her opponent and swings her arm, hitting her in the neck.

The video was posted to Instagram by the victim’s mother, Alice Ham, and has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Ham told the Times that the girl who hit her daughter and mother showed no remorse after the attack.

Hunt, 44, was charged with a misdemeanor of contributing to the crime of a minor and a misdemeanor battery.

On Wednesday, a judge granted Hunt distraction on the misdemeanor charge, meaning the case would not be prosecuted if the mother apologized to the victim, her parents and both basketball teams.

Hunt must also pay more than $9,000 in reparations, stay away from the victim, and attend anger management classes before she can attend basketball games. She would also remain under court supervision for two years.

The father of the girl who struck, former Chicago Bulls player Corey Benjamin, apologized and said he was shocked and disappointed by his daughter’s behavior.

In a statement, Hunt’s attorney called the decision a victory. He said Hunt and her daughter “took responsibility for their actions and did everything in their power to rectify the situation.”

“This is the reasonable and just result,” said Attorney Brett A. Greenfield.

Under state law, some offenses are eligible for diversion programs. The charges could be dropped once the judge’s order is finalized.

Since the video surfaced, Greenfield said, Hunt and her daughter have been targeted online with racist and bullying remarks.

“MS. Hunt and her daughter can now begin healing,” he said.

Ham’s attorney, Caroline R. Hahn, said her client and daughter accepted the outcome of the case and are relieved that the trial allows them to address the judge and Hunt in court.

“The attack on her daughter and subsequent court appearances took a great toll on Ms Ham’s entire family,” Hahn said. “MS. Ham hopes that Ms. Hunt has learned from this ordeal and that it will lead to a change in her behavior going forward.”

Hahn said the letter of apology had not been received by Thursday afternoon.

“Parents have a fundamental responsibility to raise our children to be good people who treat everyone with dignity and respect,” Orange County Dist said. atty Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “A mature adult who instructs a child to use violence against another child on the basketball court is reprehensible. By directing her own daughter to use violence, not only is she responsible for hurting an innocent child as if she punched her with her own fist, but she has turned her own child into someone ready to hurt another hurting the child.”

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-15/mom-told-daughter-punch-opponent-pay-9000-write-apology Mother who encouraged daughter to punch basketball opponent is ordered to pay $9,000 and write apologies

Emma Bowman

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