Probation ordered for boy, 13, after plea in alleged plan for mass shooting at Ohio synagogue

Dec 16, 2023, 12:55 PM

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A 13-year-old Ohio boy accused of planning a mass shooting at a local synagogue has been ordered to spend a year on probation.

The Canton Repository reports that the Plain Township boy pleaded true, the juvenile equivalent of guilty, on Friday to misdemeanor counts of inducing panic and disorderly conduct. Authorities said that a “detailed plan to complete a mass shooting” at Temple Israel in Canton, south of Akron, was posted on the live-streaming platform Discord.

Stark County Family Court Judge Jim James then ordered probation, according to a court document, but suspended a 90-day sentence at the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center. The boy was also barred from using the internet without supervision and ordered to continue counseling with a licensed therapist.

The boy was also told to read a book about Carl Lutz, the Swiss diplomat credited with saving the lives of tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust in Budapest, Hungary, during World War II. The youth must then submit a book report to the juvenile probation department.

According to documents released Thursday by the county sheriff’s office, an FBI agent alerted officials Sept. 7 to posts between the boy and a person in Washington state that allegedly included a map of the synagogue and plans to burn down and “shoot up” the building. Discord later said it reported the discussions to the FBI, the newspaper reported.

The charges come amid a rise of antisemitism in the United States and worldwide. In the U.S. alone, antisemitic incidents rose 35% from 2021 to 2022.

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Probation ordered for boy, 13, after plea in alleged plan for mass shooting at Ohio synagogue