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The judge cleared his throat and the courtroom fell silent.

"Please stand, Mr. Alton. I have read the report by your social worker and taking into account your young age and especially the statement made by your victim on your behalf, I am sentencing you to a period of no more than six months in custody followed by five years probation."

Warren swallowed heavily as his foster parents left without a word. He fought back tears at being abandoned. Ignoring the guards, Joe pulled him into a hug.

"We'll be here when you get out, Warren," he promised. "Stay safe."