TAMPA - Joshua Bynum stood stoically before Judge Chet Tharpe after spending almost the past year of his 17 behind bars.
Bynum had been charged with an October 2011 rape inside a bathroom at Chamberlain High of a fellow student, 16 years old at the time. He pleaded guilty Monday morning to a 3rd-degree felony battery charge and a series of lesser charges stemming from a stolen dirt-bike incident earlier this year.
The judge accepted a complicated plea deal and handed down a sentence of 10 years probation along with a series of court-imposed examinations for drug, psychological and sex deviants.
He also took a moment to tongue-lash the teenager before he could walk free.
"You have a pending sexual battery charge," said the judge, choosing his words carefully as the defendant stood silently.
"Make no mistake, young man," he said, "if you violate your probation, I'll send you to prison."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
An emergency federal court hearing has been scheduled for a Tampa man awaiting sentencing for tricking his pregnant ex-girlfriend into taking a pill that caused her to have a miscarriage.