A judge in Texas has sentenced a rapist to community service…at a rape crisis center. Not only is the sentence atypically light, but, somehow, sending a convicted rapist to work with the victims of sexual assault and abuse didn't seem at all absurd or cruel to Judge Jeanine Howard.
"There are rape cases that deserve 20 years," Howard told The Dallas Morning News. "Every now and then you have one of those that deserve probation. This is one of those and I stand by it."
So what made this particular case—a case in which pepetrator Sir Young actually admitted to the rape—one of the latter instances? Howard said it was because the 14-year-old victim "wasn't the victim she claimed to be."
Howard doesn't dispute that Young forced the victim to have sex with him at the high school they both attended. But in Howard's book, you apparently can't be a real rape victim unless you're a virgin who's had zero prior contact with your rapist. From The Dallas Morning News:
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.
The victim's mother said she has never been pregnant, but that's really beside the point, isn't it? The undisputed facts in this case are that the victim repeatedly told Young "no" and "stop." He didn't. The fact that she texted him previously, may have been willing to have sex with him in the future under different circumstances, or has had sex in the past is totally irrelevant. I can't even believe this is a point of contention.
Ultimately, Young was sentenced to 45 days in jail (plus spending the anniversary of the rape in jail for the next five years), five years probation, and 250 hours of community service. But the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC), where he was sentenced to serve, said thanks but no thanks.
"It flies in the face of logic," Bobbie Villareal, executive director of the DARCC, told the local CBS station. "First of all, in that you would ask someone to do their community supervision for the population that has been directly affected by the exact crime. That's like saying a pedophile should do their community supervision helping at a preschool."
Besides, DARCC doesn't accept volunteers with criminal backgrounds. Judge Howard's court coordinator told the Dallas Observer that she'll modify the conditions to give him community service hours somewhere else.