DA's office to refile assault charges in boot camp case

Caller.com, Texas/June 1, 2010

Corpus Christi - The District Attorney's Office plans to refile a case related to allegations that San Antonio-based boot camp officials dragged a teen behind a van in Banquete.

Charles Flowers, 49, and Stephanie Bassitt, 23, originally were charged in 2007 with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

They were tried in 2008, but a judge declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a verdict. Some of the jury notes indicated they were split in favor of acquittals.

Prosecutor Mike Gordon said Tuesday he had the case formally dismissed in April because he plans to refile the case as misdemeanor assault.

The Class A misdemeanor is punishable by as long as a year in county jail and as much as a $4,000 fine.

Flowers, who founded Love Demonstrated Ministries, International with his wife, and Bassitt, a former staff member, were accused of using a rope to tie a 15-year-old girl to a van on June 12, 2007, and then dragging her behind it.

During their trial, the felony charge was lowered to misdemeanor assault after the judge ruled that the van couldn't be considered a deadly weapon based on the indictment's wording.

Gordon said that ruling prevented him from retrying the two on felony charges.

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