Josie Lou Ratley recovering one year after attack

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - It's a day Josie Lou Ratley and her mother wish to forget.

"Today is certainly not a day to celebrate any anniversary," said Ratley's mother, Hilda Gotay. "It's a sad day and a very emotional day."

One year ago Thursday, Ratley, then 15, was walking out of Deerfield Beach Middle School when police say Wayne Treacy, now 16, kicked and stomped on her head over and over while wearing steel-toe boots.

Authorities say the beating was prompted by an ugly text message exchange between the relative strangers.

Her injuries left Ratley brain damaged.  Ratley's mother learned that Josie would have to re-learn basic skills like writing, and reading.

Ratley is now walking on her own, but it will be a while before she is back to normal.

"Josie continues to work hard in her recovery," Gotay said, "but she still has a long way to go."

Treacy has been charged as an adult with first-degree attempted murder and faces a maximum of 50 years if convicted. He is awaiting trial in the Broward County Main Jail. A mutual friend, Kayla Manson, 14, is being prosecuted on the same charge as a juvenile for helping Treacy find Ratley.
 

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