Judge sparks outrage after sentencing rapist of a 14 year-old girl to probation
POSTED: Monday, May 5, 2014 - 10:15am
UPDATED: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 9:00am
Dallas, TX (WFAA) — Outrage is growing over a Texas judge who sentenced the admitted rapist of a 14 year-old girl, to probation. Sir Young was also exempted from several standard sex offender regulations. The judge is now rescuing herself after sparking even more anger by implying the victim was promiscuous, Nick Valencia reports.
A Dallas District Judge is under fire, after handing down, what some say, is an inappropriately light sentence in a rape case. 20 year-old Sir Young pleaded guilty to raping his classmate in a room at Booker T. Washington High School in 2011.
He faced up to a 20 years in jail, but was instead sentenced to five years of probation and a 45 day stint in jail.
Andrea Moseley, Chief Prosecutor Dallas County DA, "We're certainly concerned about the message that's being sent to victims of sexual assault...and that they will feel safe coming forward and reporting these crimes."
But, it wasn't just the sentence that shocked the community.
Judge Jeanine Howard publicly implied the 14 year-old victim was promiscuous and not "The victim she claimed to be."
Howard told the Dallas Morning News she based the sentence, in part, on medical records which she says indicated the girl had three sexual partners and had given birth to a baby.
She stand by her ruling, telling the paper that Young was "Not your typical sex offender."
The victim denies the claims and has said since the verdict she regrets coming forward about the rape, "I was shocked that a judge, someone that I trusted with this case, would go behind my back...and make these allegations that she knows nothing about."
Adding to the firestorm was another condition that stunned rape advocates, Young was ordered to serve 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center, a condition that changed after the center said he was not welcome there.
Bobbie Villarreal, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, "Just having a criminal defendant in the office could be a triggering effect for many of our clients; it's just not appropriate."
Following public backlash, Howard rescued herself from the case. A new judge will oversee the case moving forward, including a motion filed by prosecutors to add more restrictive requirements to his probation.
Young is currently serving his 45 day jail sentence.