Harsh Charges for Teen Sex Doll Prank Race Related?


A prosecutor in Indiana said he will not seek prison time for a teenager arrested on felony charges for putting a sex doll in a girls bathroom at his high school. Even still, questions are being raised about whether the harsh charges against him are race related.

On May 31, 18-year-old Tyell Morton was spotted on surveillance video entering the school wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves, carrying a package. A few minutes later a janitor at Rushville Consolidated High School saw Morton running away from the school without the package.

School officials went into full bomb-scare alert. The school was locked down, police arrived, and they eventually found the "bomb" -- the sex doll in the bathroom.

Morton was arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. However he was also charged with institutional criminal mischief, a felony that carries the potential of two to eight years in prison.

However, Rush County Prosecutor Philip J. Caviness now says he does not intend to seek a prison term for Morton. He did say that he thinks school officials acted appropriately and that the charges are warranted.

"I'm pretty comfortable with the charges that we've filed," he told the Associated Press.

However many are questioning why Morton was charged with a felony. Miami Herald writer Leonard Pitts speculated in his nationally syndicated column that it could be because Morton is black.

Morton's parents dismissed the theory, as did Morton's lawyer. He thinks it is because Rushville is such a small, blue-collar town.

"I don't think they do this sort of thing very often," Robert Turner said. "Had this happened in Indianapolis ... they would not have had this kind of charge filed."


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