UPDATE, July 7, 2010: Court upholds confinement for Wisconsin cheerleader mom
In this image released by the Brown County Sheriff's Office, Wendy Brown is shown in a booking mug after her arrest on Sept. 4, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/ Brown County Sheriff's Office)
Wendy Brown won't be doing any cheerleading for a while.
From the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
Wendy Brown, 34, will serve up to three years in a mental institution for using her daughter’s identity to enroll at Ashwaubenon High School and try out as a cheerleader.
Brown County Circuit Court Judge Sue Bischel also ordered that Brown spend three years on probation for a rent scam where she bilked $759 in rent from a prospective tenant for an apartment from which Brown was being evicted.
At a hearing on Tuesday, Bischel said she agreed with a psychiatrist’s recommendation that Brown required “intensive counseling and treatment that she’s not going to get at the Brown County Jail and would have a difficult time getting in the community.”
Mental health professionals could petition for Brown’s conditional release over the next three years, but they would have to convince Bischel that Brown was no longer a danger to herself or the community. Brown was committed and found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to an identity theft charge Dec. 18.
A forensic psychiatrist found that Brown suffered from bipolar and borderline personality disorder, which resulted in delusional mental illness. The psychiatrist found she was not able to appreciate the wrongfulness of her conduct and was unable to conform to society's norms.
A 34-year-old mother who would assume her 15-year-old daughter's identity so she could "relive her high school experiences" is unstable. I believe that she's mentally ill and needs treatment.
However, I question whether she truly didn't understand that her conduct was wrong. That rent scam makes me wonder.
She certainly seemed lucid when she made this statement in court:
"I'm really sorry for what I've done, and I realize what I did and I feel bad about it. I regret it. I'm not a bad person. I just made a mistake."
I have a feeling she won't be institutionalized for 3 years. Something tells me Brown will respond quickly to the intensive treatment.