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Yorktown, Lakeland Students Graduate From Youth Court

Yorktown Youth Court graduates participate in a mock arraignment Wednesday night.
Yorktown Youth Court graduates participate in a mock arraignment Wednesday night. Video Credit: Brian Marschhauser
Yorktown Justice Sal Lagonia imparts his knowledge on the youth court graduates Wednesday night.
Yorktown Justice Sal Lagonia imparts his knowledge on the youth court graduates Wednesday night. Photo Credit: Brian Marschhauser
Yorktown Youth Court graduates take an oath Wednesday night.
Yorktown Youth Court graduates take an oath Wednesday night. Photo Credit: Brian Marschhauser

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Dozens of students from Lakeland and Yorktown Central school districts were honored Wednesday night as graduates of Yorktown Youth Court's class of 2013.

The youth court was founded in 2007 and is organized and run by teens, adjudicating misdemeanor cases involving other teens with the goal of reducing juvenile delinquency. Youth Court members serve in the roles of judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, jury, clerk and bailiff. It is a legal and binding procedure that determines sentence in the form of community service hours for the youth offender.

The graduates participated in a mock arraignment Wednesday of a Yorktown High School student accused of stealing an iPod from a fellow student's locker. The plaintiff argued for 40 hours of community service, the defendant suggested 15 hours, but the judge compromised with 25 hours.

The ceremony attracted a slew of elected officials, including Assembly member Steve Katz, County Legislators John Testa and Mike Kaplowitz, Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace and Council members Dave Paganelli and Vishnu Patel.

"You have a lot of tough decisions to make, and when you make bad decisions, you don't end up in this kind of a room for fun," said Grace, a trial lawyer and former attorney for Yorktown. "My hope is that through this process, you learn. And what you learn, you bring that to your community, which is your peers in your school. And hopefully teach the lessons that you're taught here, because they're good ones. They're good ones for the rest of your life."

The ceremony was hosted by the Alliance for Safe Kids and held at Yorktown Justice Court. The class of 2013 is:

  • Zachary Abbate
  • Joshua Beck
  • Nicholas Belmonte
  • Logan Boilen
  • Sean Boyle
  • Richie Campanaro
  • Ryan Cegielski
  • Jack Christensen
  • Kaitlyn Comerford
  • Tyler Cunnington
  • John Del Priore
  • Thomas Donatelli
  • Brandon Dumoit
  • Mason Dyslin
  • Jamison Embury
  • Hunter Embury
  • Scott Epstein
  • Timothy Forbes
  • Conor Frawley
  • Skyler Gironda
  • Alban Hoxhaj
  • Greg Karales
  • Akshay Karve
  • Robert Kohl
  • Daniel Kramer
  • Robert Kramer
  • Caileigh Lampersberger
  • Brendan Lawlor
  • Andrew Levin
  • Sam Levin
  • Carlton James Mackay
  • Vincent Manghise
  • Sara Mongno
  • Michael Naccarella
  • Keegan O'Connor
  • Christopher Pinto
  • Frank Raguso
  • Christina Raguso
  • Gregory Rivera
  • Gabriel Rivera
  • Robert Sam Spallone
  • Clare Spallone
  • Joey Vulaj
  • Joseph V. Woska

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