One judge from Ohio gave a choice for a teen defendant who did not pay for the cabbie she hailed. She may choose to walk for 30 miles―the same distance that she took a ride for―or stay for 60 days in prison. The teen decided to take the hike rather than spending a couple of months in jail.
Painesville Judge Michael Cicconetti is quite known for giving out unusual punishments. After considering concrete proof that 19-year-old Victoria Bascom did fail to pay the taxi driver after riding the cab for 30 miles, Judge Cicconetti ultimately gave his unusual punishment on top of a $100 fine. The court verdict was finalized on May 29, 2015.
In February 2015, Bascom took the cab in Cleveland and stopped the vehicle when she reached Painesville. She was on her way home after hanging out in a bar with her friends. However, she left the cab without paying the fare for the ride she took which would have amounted to $100.
Bascom claimed that when she left the cab, another woman was with her and two more passengers in the cab said that they would pay for the ride. As it turns out, both passengers could not pay, and the next thing she knew, the taxi driver was already at her door with some police officers arriving shortly after he did.
Still, Judge Cicconetti said that it was Bascom’s responsibility to ensure that the taxi driver was paid in full. The court sided with the victim after sufficient evidence was presented, and Bascom ended up with a punishment of covering the 30-mile distance on foot or stay in jail for 60 days.
The teenager did not want to go to jail and chose to trek instead.
“I’ve never been to jail and I don’t want to go to jail,” Bascom told WEWS. “I’m kind of upset about this sentence, you know, ’cause I’m thinking I was going to go in and just have to pay a fine — I guess only a 100 dollars or whatever. I almost ended up getting jail time, so I guess I’m kind of lucky he gave me this option.”
Bascom was further ordered by the judge to walk the perimeter of the Lake County Fairgrounds, which meant that she needed to do 40 laps around the area to complete her punishment. Judge Cicconetti also placed a GPS in Bascom for the court to completely monitor if she has walked the 30-mile distance that was ordered by the court.
The teenager started her trek in the afternoon of May 29. She wore a GPS device on her ankle, which measured the distance that she has already covered. However, Judge Cicconetti realized later that it may not be possible for the teen to complete the task in 48 hours because she walked on the grassy and muddy part of the grounds. Eventually, he reduced the distance to 20 miles instead.
Her punishment did not end there, though. On top of the 30-mile walk and $100 fine, Bascom was also sentenced to four months of probation.
Judge Cicconetti’s unusual punishments often catch perpetrators off guard, and it always had something to do with the kind of crime or unlawful act that was committed. There was a time where he ordered a woman to stay overnight in the woods after she left her kittens to stay there. There was also another case where he sentenced a man who had to stand in the street with a pig, and a sign that read “this is not a police officer”. That was after the man called the officer a “pig” on one confrontation.
“I typically use these creative alternative sentences for younger people who are more impressionable, at least somewhat remorseful and are usually first-time offenders,” Cinconetti told ABC News. “The philosophy behind it that whatever punishment they choose it’s going to prevent them from coming back to court on another charge.”
The Painesville judge definitely has an eccentric take on things and people who defy the law should think twice before doing something that would trigger this judge to punish them in a way they would never expect at all.
Watch the video below to know more about Judge Cicconetti and his unusual punishments.
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