Teen pleads guilty in NW Ind. school bus assaults

February 18, 2010 7:19:04 PM PST
One of three teenagers charged with terrorizing girls on their northwestern Indiana school bus has pleaded guilty to strangulation and intimidation charges.

The plea agreement between 17-year-old Charles McCloud-Smith and Porter County prosecutors calls for him to be released from jail after a March 8 sentencing hearing.

McCloud-Smith has been jailed for 10 months since he and two other boys were arrested on charges they repeatedly groped and threatened five teen girls on a Portage school bus for months. A judge ruled they could be charged as adults.

Defense attorney Matt Soliday said they agreed to the plea in exchange for sexual battery charges being dropped.

One of the other teens is expected to plead guilty next week, while the other has a trial scheduled for June.