SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — A video recorded attack on a 15-year-old Simi Valley High School student could become the first case prosecuted under Jordan’s Law, named for a West Hills teen who was attacked for social media fame.
Video obtained by the teenager’s family shows him being punched and kicked by two 17-year-old students after being lured out of a classroom last month.
The family’s attorney, Jennifer Ryan, said the teen didn’t know his attackers or why he was attacked, but reports suggested the teen was targeted because he made insensitive comments about another student who had committed suicide.
At least one video shows the attack, but it’s not clear whether it was posted to social media – and if it was, it could make the person making the video equally responsible for the crime.
“I thought it was absolutely disgusting,” said Sue Brewer, a staffer at Simi Valley High school. “I don’t understand how a student, just because he says something that someone else didn’t like, gets beat up. It’s not fair. It’s not right.”
Jordan’s Law, which makes it a crime to conspire with an attacker to film a violent felony, was introduced by state Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, after West Hills teen Jordan Peisner was attacked outside a Wendy’s restaurant by a total stranger. The stranger’s friend filmed the assault and posted it to social media, where it went viral.
Dababneh introduced the bill to stem the number of violent videos filmed solely for social media attention.
“We can see from this surge of social media motivated attacks that the ability to film, view and share video footage on our phones instantaneously has produced new behavior, especially among teenagers,” Dababneh wrote in a Daily News editorial. “Unfortunately, our criminal code has not kept pace with these technology-driven social changes.”
The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October.
In the Simi Valley case, the teen who was attacked suffered a broken jaw, loosened teeth and is seeing a psychiatrist, Ryan said. Criminal charges have been filed against the two attackers, who have also been served with restraining orders.