Teenager Ponzanelli in Texas

Original post date: 18.05.2008

Editor’s note: This entry is sent in about the teenager in Texas, Jean Ponzanelli, who is mentioned in a media item on rsol this week, too. The mother of a young woman who is Jean’s highschool friend sends futher information about this typically terrible tale.

Jean himself had lived almost all his life in Texas and didn’t really understand that he was not a ‘citizen,’  just a ‘legal alien.’ His lawyer didn’t know that either when he suggested the ‘plea bargain.’  Now, Jean is trying to withdraw the plea, because no matter how it goes otherwise, he will be deported.

This battle seems hopeless at times and I’ve only been in the fight for 3 months. I believe getting these stories out there and opening the eyes of the public is the only way to bring about a change in these laws. Jean Ponzanelli is so creative. He draws, plays guitar, drums, he writes music, he is extremely gifted. He is also an avid skateboarder. Skateboarding was at one time the most important thing to him. He recently told me that for the first time in his life he cares for something more than skateboarding. He cares for his life that is at stake.

He is in Williamson County jail for now. He is being treated for depression and insomnia. I can not imagine what these boys (mostly) go through.

Thanks again,
Round Rock, Texas

 

Update:

Original post date: 17.06.2008

Jean Ponzanelli was in court yesterday. His attorney asked the judge to reset his hearing on the writ. The attorney is asking the court to allow Jean to withrdraw his plea based on the immigration issue. The judge said he would reset the hearing for 7/2/08 as he doesn’t see the writ happening. The judge also scheduled the revocation hearing for the same day.

So, looks like the judge will recommend the appellate court to deny the writ and will revoke Jean’s probation and sentence him to prison on 7/2/08. Jean is looking at a 10 year prison term.

I just want someone to tell me this is really not happening in this great country of ours. The bottom line is that we are sending a kid to prison for having sex with another kid. The court will argue that he is being sent to prison for violating probation. I would argue the kid should not have been on probation in the first place since the kid should never have been arrested. Jean’s probation was like purgatory. Now they are sending him to hell.

My heart truly breaks.

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