Jury gets camp case; mom asked about book

The jury in the trial of two boot camp officials accused of dragging a teen behind a van in Banquete will continue deliberating today.

San Antonio pastor Charles Flowers, 47, and Stephanie Bassitt, 21, are charged with misdemeanor assault. They are accused of using a rope to tie 15-year-old Siobabn McClintock to a van and dragging her behind it last June.

If convicted of the Class A misdemeanor, Flowers and Bassitt would face as much as a year in county jail and a $4,000 fine. Testimony in the trial, held in 347th District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos’ court, ended Wednesday.

Flowers’ lead attorney, Jimmy Parks, said the teen planned to get out of camp activities any way she could, including by intentionally injuring herself and purposely falling to the ground.

“She had established a pattern from the start she was not going to participate,” Parks said.

Earlier Wednesday the teen’s mother, Frances McClintock, broke down on the stand when asked if she was helping another witness write a book about the case.

McClintock told defense attorneys she agreed to provide only basic information for the book and felt like she and her daughter were the ones put on trial.

Bassitt’s attorney, Brent De La Paz, argued his client shouldn’t be convicted simply because she was there. He also criticized the elder McClintock for filing a civil suit and argued she had tried to downplay her daughter’s problems.

Prosecutor Michael Gordon agreed the teen was troubled but said it was no excuse for Flowers, who founded the camp with his wife, to resort to committing a crime.

“He went too far. He got angry, and he decided this little girl was not going to beat him,” Gordon said. “He’s there to win a contest of wills, but not like this.”

Gordon said that Bassitt, a staff member, also was an active participant in the incident by holding an end of the rope tied to the teen.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday May 1, 2008.
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