Video: Victim chooses compassion

updated 10/18/2005 6:44:19 PM ET 2005-10-18T22:44:19

A teen who severely injured a woman by tossing a 20-pound turkey through her car windshield was sentenced to six months in jail after his victim requested a light sentence.

Ryan Cushing, 19, also received five years of probation Monday and was ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment and do community service.

Victoria Ruvolo underwent a 10-hour operation to repair her crushed face and spent a month in the hospital following the incident last November. She said she requested a light sentence for Cushing because she wanted to give him a second chance.

“What would vengeance do?” Ruvolo said on NBC’s “Today” show. “God gave me a second chance, and I’m just passing it on.”

The teen pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault in August. If convicted of first-degree assault at trial, Cushing could have been sentenced to up to 25 years.

Cushing was riding in a car with other teens when the turkey was tossed. Five other teenagers had previously pleaded guilty to various charges, including credit card theft for a spending spree that included the turkey.

When Cushing pleaded guilty in August, Ruvolo, 44, had hugged him in a tearful embrace in the courtroom. But at the sentencing, Ruvolo said she hadn’t forgiven the teen, “in the sense that I have not absolved you.”

“I truly hope that by demonstrating compassion and leniency, I have encouraged you to seek an honorable life,” Ruvolo said in court.

Cushing read a statement saying her kindness “has already made a positive change in my life.”

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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