Judge wants her MTV

DYER: Lake Juvenile Court judge watches 'Juvies' with friends at Rounders
2007-02-02T00:00:00Z Judge wants her MTVRUTHANN ROBINSON
rrobinson@nwitimes.com
219.662.5331
nwitimes.com
February 02, 2007 12:00 am  • 

DYER | Appearing on national TV is nothing new for Lake Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura, now that she's been on the NBC "Today" show.

Still, she gathered with friends at Rounders Stadium Grill in Dyer to watch the premiere episode of the eight-part MTV series "Juvies."

Bonaventura allowed cameras into her court for a few weeks last year to let teen audiences see what happens when kids their age are accused of breaking the law.

"Oh, here's where they talk bad about me," said Bonaventura, who had seen a preview.

"Mean judge," her relative shouted.

Dyer attorney Donald Wruck III and Crown Point attorney Geoffrey Giorgi, who represented several of the juveniles filmed, were also on hand for Thursday's premiere. Juvenile Deputy Prosecutor Kathleen Guzik was at Rounders as well.

Cordell, 18, of Gary, couldn't be bothered with such trappings of fame. There was no viewing party with friends for the Wirt High School senior, whose experience at the Juvenile Detention Center last year on bogus auto theft charges aired Thursday.

Cordell taped the episode because he had to get up early this morning to go on a college tour.

Karissa, 18, of Valparaiso, isn't sure when her episode will air.

Tired of the "high standards" her foster parents expected, Karissa called her then-boyfriend and said she was ready to run. She spent two weeks doing drugs and telling herself she enjoyed the freedom from all the rules.

But when police picked her up at an East Chicago house, Karissa said she was ready to go home.

"I was surprised they went to the trouble to find me," Karissa said Wednesday from her foster parents' house. "I thought they'd be like, 'Whatever. She's gone.' I've never had someone care that much."

South Bend native Karen Grau's Calamari Productions company produced the series.

The Indiana Supreme Court gave Grau unprecedented access to juvenile court procedures in 2003. Since then, Grau's documentaries on the historically closed-door hearings have won several awards and been used to train court personnel.

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