Criminal Justice

Judge sentences rapist to community service at rape crisis center; says victim, 14, wasn't a virgin

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Updated: A Dallas judge who sentenced a rapist to 45 days in jail and community service at a rape crisis center explained her decision in part by pointing to the 14-year-old victim’s sexual history.

Judge Jeanine Howard recused herself from the case so she could discuss her decision with the Dallas Morning News last week. Howard sentenced Sir Young to five years of probation, in addition to the jail term and community service, the newspaper reports. He will not have a criminal record if he successfully completes probation. CNN, the Associated Press, WFAA and Reuters also have stories.

Howard also refused to impose typical requirements of probation. She said Young won’t have to stay away from children; be evaluated as a sex offender; attend sex offender treatment; or refrain from watching pornography.

Howard said Young was barely 18 at the time of the October 2011 rape of his 14-year-old schoolmate. Howard said the girl had agreed to have sex with Young, but not at school where the rape occurred. She also cited medical records showing the girl had three sex partners and had given birth to a baby.

“She wasn’t the victim she claimed to be,” Howard told the Dallas Morning News. “He is not your typical sex offender.”

“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.”

In his confession, Young told police he and the girl began kissing in a music practice room at school. He said he had sex with the girl though she kept telling him to stop, according to WFAA. He pleaded guilty to the rape.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said prosecutors had asked for a sentence of five years in prison, according to the AP story.

The Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center has said it doesn’t want Young there. Howard told the Dallas Morning News she didn’t intend for Young to work with rape victims and she thought he could mop the floors, mow the lawn or cook.

The victim told WFAA that she never gave birth to a baby. “I was shocked that a judge, someone that I trusted with this case, would go behind my back, would go and find records and make these allegations that she knows nothing about,” the girl said. She told the Dallas Morning News “it would have been better for me not to say anything” about the attack. She said the sentence “says everything I went through was for nothing.”

On Thursday, a new judge in the case said Young would have to abide by the typical requirements of probation, in effect overturning Howard’s decision to impose fewer restrictions, the Dallas Morning News reports here.

Young’s lawyer, Scottie Allen, told the Dallas Morning News the new judge’s decision was a “slippery path.”

“This is unprecedented—to have one trial judge circumvent and make conclusions from another trial judge’s opinions,” Allen said.

Updated on May 9 to report that a new judge imposed more restrictive probation requirements.

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