No lowering of bond for teen charged in video beating case

Michael Palomino (left), father of Raymond Palomino, who is charged with robbery and aggravated battery in the videotaped beating of a Bridgeport youth, and his attorney Ilia Usharovich talk outside of court today. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / January 23, 2012)

A Cook County judge today refused to lower bond for one of seven teenagers charged with beating and robbing a 17-year-old high school student in a South Side alley in a videotaped attack that went viral on the Internet.

Raymond Palomino, 17, has been held in protective custody in the Cook County Jail since he was ordered held on a $100,000 bond on charges of robbery and aggravated battery. He was the lone suspect of the seven charged as an adult.

His attorney, Ilia Usharovich, argued vehemently today that Palomino deserved to be free on bond while awaiting trial, referring repeatedly to the teen as a "little kid" and a "peanut" who asked if someone could bring him puzzle books to pass the time in his cell.

"And I'm not talking word scrambles either," Usharovich told the judge. "I'm talking about the kind where the words are already there and you circle them."

Usharovich also noted that the teen's father, Michael Palomino, a Cook County sheriff's deputy, has said the attack was "retaliation" for an incident last year when the victim and his friends jumped his son and another boy after school.

Judge Sandra Ramos denied the request to lower the bond or to release Palomino on electronic monitoring.

The other teens -- two 16-year-old boys, three 15-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl -- were all cited in juvenile delinquency petitions on robbery and aggravated battery charges. Their identities were not made public because they are juveniles.

Prosecutors said Palomino and the other boys persuaded the girl to lure the victim into an alley in the 2700 block of South Shields, where the others pounced on him.

During his appearance today in court, Palomino kept his head bowed for much of the hearing, twisting his fingers behind his back and shifting his feet.

After the hearing, his father said he was "disappointed" by the ruling.

"He's sitting in jail while his education goes down the tube," Michael Palomino said. "Meanwhile, the other six kids get to go to school."

jmeisner@tribune.com