A Texas judge handed down a light sentence to a rapist who pleaded guilty, because his 14-year-old victim had three previous sexual partners and had given birth before the sexual assault.
Judge Jeanine Howard sentenced Sir Young to 45 days in jail, 5 years of deferred probation and 250 hours of community service. If Young completes his probation, he will have a chance to wipe the conviction off his record.
According to the Dallas Star, the judge also asked the victim if she cried during the attack, and the girl said no. The victim also testified that she only wanted to kiss Young, and had told him “no” and “stop” during the attack.
From The Dallas Star:
District Attorney Craig Watkins said Thursday that his prosecutors would “always fight for our most vulnerable victims” like the one in this case. It is rare for prosecutors to critique a judge’s actions, but Watkins said he was “alarmed” by Howard’s decision.
“This young lady was 14 at the time she was sexually assaulted at school, and we cannot send the wrong message to rape victims who have the courage to seek justice,” Watkins said. “I am disappointed the judge would choose to give the defendant probation after he admitted guilt, but even more alarmed the judge failed to impose standard sex offender conditions of probation designed to protect society.”
Howard, a Democrat who will be unopposed in November as she seeks a third term, said in an interview late Thursday with The Dallas Morning News that she planned to recuse herself from the case so she could speak about her decision. Another judge will be assigned to hear the case.
Howard said she made her decision for several reasons, including: The girl had texted Young asking him to spend time with her; the girl had agreed to have sex with him but just didn’t want to at school; medical records show the girl had three sexual partners and had given birth to a baby; and Young was barely 18 at the time.
“She wasn’t the victim she claimed to be,” Howard said. “He is not your typical sex offender.”
Howard added that she thought she was “doing a good thing” with her sentence and said Young does not need to undergo polygraphs.
“There are rape cases that deserve life. There are rape cases that deserve 20 years,” Howard said. “Every now and then you have one of those that deserve probation. This is one of those and I stand by it.
Young had faced a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars. In addition to the 45 days in jail, he will have to spend a night in jail on the anniversary of the rape for the duration of his probation. But the Dallas Morning News reports that while he will have to register as a sex offender, he will not face many of the other restrictions given to such offenders. He won’t be required to keep away from children and will not have to attend sex offender treatment.
The victim told the paper that the light sentence means “everything I went through was for nothing.”