A 12-year-old boy has admitted to an Ashton Kutcher "swatting" prank.
The child, whose name was withheld due to his age, stated in court that he made a false police report last year that armed criminals had taken over Kutcher's home and had shot people, reports Reuters.
This call prompted authorities to send a heavily armed response team to Kutcher's Hollywood home, creating a dangerous situation for the innocent victims inside the home.
Prosecutors charged the 12-year-old boy with making a false bomb threat and computer intrusion because the child made the call from his computer, reports Reuters. The child also faces a misdemeanor charge for making another false "swatting" call targeting Justin Bieber.
Not stopping at celebrities, the boy was also accused of making fake bomb threats at a bank in Los Angeles. He faces felony charges for that crime. All of the false reports were allegedly made in October 2012.
Because the criminal prankster is only a minor, his case is being tried in a California juvenile court. He has already been released to the custody of his parents and faces possible penalties of at-home probation or placement in a group home, according to Reuters.
Generally, in California, a minor can avoid adult charges for most crimes. This is especially true for children under 14. However, if the child is over 14 years of age, he may be tried in an adult court for some serious crimes like murder, arson to a home with people in it, robbery with a weapon, rape, and carjacking.
The 12-year-old boy who admitted to the Ashton Kutcher "swatting" prank is too young to be tried as an adult in California. In addition, his crimes, while serious, likely do not rise to the level that would warrant adult charges.
- 12-year-old Calif. boy admits to 'swatting' Ashton Kutcher; authorities also charge him with hoax against Justin Bieber (New York Daily News)
- What Is 'Swatting'? Boy, 12, Busted for Bieber, Kutcher Pranks (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Victim of 'Swatting'? Here's What to Do (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)