VICTOR The environment was light-hearted and energetic in Victor Town Court on Wednesday a rejuvenating change from the typical parade of accused shoplifters, damaged motorists, larcenists, forgers, aggressors, drug possessors, brawlers and criminal mischief-makers who regularly pass through.Victor Town Justice Thomas Toby
Reh; Finger Lakes Legal Handling Partner Angelo Butch Rose; and Judge Craig Doran, chief monitoring judge of the Seventh Judicial District, took a couple of hours off from their day tasks to mentor young adult students from School of the Holy Youth in Rochester.But the experience involved more than casual chit-chat. Students literally had their day in court on April 22 as they participated in a mock trial, managed by Rose and the schools athletic director, Tim Baird.Inside Victor Town Court on School Street in Victor, young adultsyoung people with light to extreme developmental impairments stepped into the functions of judge, jury, district lawyer, defense counsel, court officers and notary. Rose and his co-defense lawyer, Nicole Robertson, faced off against Reh and his co-prosecutors, Ramon Becker and Ben Hawk, prior to Judge Doran and a co-judge, Randi Pru.It was remarkable, stated Doran, following the mock trial. Anytime we can leave our normal environment and bring the court to residents of our neighborhood and enable them to experience
the justice system first-hand, everybodys a winner. Im sure I enjoyed this the most out of everybody in this room.Students took the trial extremely seriously, as numerous school personnelemployee played the functions of victim and accused. In Wednesdays case, staffer Charise Witt was implicated of scratching
and smashing tomatoes on the car of her ex-boyfriend, played by Taylor Smith, in a Wegmans parking area. Testament revealed some surprises and a good share of laughs as students, staffers and their professional equivalents improvised dialogue.According to Baird, the mock trial program is highly expected by students. Its part of the extensive instructional shows provided at Holy Childhood to prepare kids and grownups with intellectual and developmental impairments for independence
and combination in the community.They love this, Baird stated of his students. They get so excited about being able to come and play the roles.This is the third round of the trial program, which started when Reh and Rose were law partners in Victor and Town Justice Ed Marty Lyng Jr. was the sitting judge in Victor.Tim approached me and stated they had an interest in
doing a mock trial, stated Rose. We did our first one about 5 years ago prior to Judge Lyng.
Toby, whos now the presiding judge right here in Victor, presided at the last one a couple of years ago. And afterwards Judge Doran had actually found out about it and approached me about 2 or three months earlier
and asked if he might be a part of it.