Kaytlen Lopan, a 13-year-old girl in Utah, had her ponytail cut off, was jailed for 30 days and was forced to undergo a strip search by juvenile justice officials, because she allegedly helped a friend cut another little girl’s hair.
Lopan's unnamed friend allegedly cut a few inches of hair of a three-year-old girl that they befriended at a local McDonald's.
Lopan said her friend "called a little girl over and cut some of her hair off, like just a tiny little piece. I didn’t know what to do, so I helped her hide the hair. Then I called my mom to come get me.”
KLS5 reports that, two weeks later, Lopan was visited at school by a police officer, who said the little girl’s parents were pressing assault charges.
Utah’s 7th District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen sentenced Lopan spend 30 days in a detention center, pay a $350 fine and serve 276 community work hours, but reduced those hours by 150 because Lopan's mother, Valerie Bruno, was willing to cut Lopan’s hair in front of the victim’s parents.
Bruno, has filed an official complaint against the judge. Bruno insisted her daughter didn’t actually participate in the hair-cutting, but got a 30-day term in the Castle Country Youth Center, where she was strip searched upon admittance.
Bruno said: “Now, she won’t even sleep by herself. She’s very upset and she [often] cries.”
Judge Johansen sentenced the other little girl to have her hair cut as well, but she was allowed to get it cut at a local salon and was not removed from parental custody. Bruno believes Lopan got a harsher sentence because had done a prank phone before with a friend.
Bruno said: “Kaytlen did not cut her hair. She did not do it. The probation officer talked her into saying she did because she was ‘guilty by association.’ She told her, even if you were just there, you’re just as guilty.”