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Caldwell ISD students plead guilty to unlawful restraint, sentenced to probation

Posted at 8:13 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 21:13:04-05

CALDWELL, Texas — Caldwell High School volleyball players Katherine Hart, Marina Brinkman, and Kadie Hartman all pleaded guilty today in a Milam County Court.

Documents released from the Milam County Clerk show that all three women pleaded guilty to the class A misdemeanor charge of unlawful restraint – a significant change from the original felony offenses of indecency with a child, and unlawful restraint by organized criminal activity.

Caldwell ISD made this statement to KRHD early Tuesday afternoon in response to the convictions:

"In November, 2021, Caldwell ISD completed the investigation of an incident that occurred on a CISD [bus]. The disciplinary action as a result of the investigation was in accordance with our student code of conduct. Upon receiving confirmation from the Milam County district attorney of the outcome to the students’ charges, Caldwell ISD will reassess the disciplinary action in accordance with our student code of conduct.”

Each of these three defendants will be placed on one year’s probation, in which they must complete 40 hours of community service, refrain from contacting the victim, and begin payments of a $4,000 fine, along with court fees. The orders of deferred adjudication explain that the women’s public records will be expunged once they have completed their probation successfully.

“This is a classic case of a pants-ing incident, which happens a lot in our schools," said lawyer Craig Greening in an October interview with KRHD. "Is it right to do it? No, but it is something that happened. It’s a prank.”

The case for a fourth co-defendant, fellow volleyball student, and Greening's client, Sophie Goodman, has yet to reach its conclusion. Goodman’s attorney insisted that the teenager had been over-charged.

The four women were originally accused of working to pin down the victim while on a school bus, forcing her shorts and spandex off her body, exposing her genitals, as she struggled and asked them to stop.

Several Caldwell ISD staff were on the bus at the time of the incident last September, according to police.