HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says he is dropping felony charges against 12 Lockland High School students involved in a senior prank.
The students were facing charges of breaking and entering and resisting arrest after breaking into Lockland High School last week. Eight juveniles were also charged in the case.
After reviewing the case, Deters determined there was sufficient legal basis for the felony charges, but the felonies were dismissed at his discretion with the agreement of Lockland Police. All 20 students will instead face misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing.
"Law enforcement acted properly," said Deters. "I believe that it is in the interests of justice that these students be charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and placed in our diversion program."
Through the diversion program, the students will enter a plea of guilty and perform the required period of probation and community service. If completed, the charge will be dismissed and no conviction will appear on their adult record. The students will be able to complete the program before going to college in the fall.
The students were suspended from school until the end of the school year.
Parents of the students were upset about the arrests, saying they were only pulling a harmless prank. The students say they only planned to place items around the school and move books from the library into the cafeteria.
Police say that the students had no reason being inside the school while it was closed.