Judge under fire for rape sentence, implying victim was promiscuous

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DALLAS — She could have sentenced him to 20 years in prison after he admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl in her high school.

Instead, a Texas judge gave the defendant a 45-day sentence and five years of probation after implying that the victim was promiscuous.

Judge Jeanine Howard told The Dallas Morning News that she based the sentence, in part, on medical records indicating that the girl had had three sexual partners and had given birth.

She told the newspaper that the victim “wasn’t the victim she claimed to be” and said the defendant, 20-year-old Sir Young, “is not your typical sex offender.”

Critics fear the decision could discourage other victims from reporting rapes.

“We’re certainly concerned about the message that’s being sent to victims of sexual assault,” said Andrea Moseley, chief prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

“We expect that our victims will be protected and that their reputations will be protected and that they will feel safe in coming forward and reporting these crimes.”

Young was convicted of sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony.

But it wasn’t just the sentence that drew criticism; it was the type of community service Young was also sentenced to.

Young, who was a schoolmate of the victim’s when the rape occurred in 2011, was ordered to serve 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center. The center later said he was not welcome there.

“I don’t believe (Judge Howard) understands what we do. If she would have called us prior to issuing the conditions of probation, we would have told her and explained what we do at the center and how that’s not possible,” Bobbie Villareal, director of the Dallas Rape Crisis Center, told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

It would be inappropriate to have a convicted rapist at a center that focuses on survivors, she said.

“It’s against our policies,” she told CNN.

Young’s defense attorney, Scottie Allen, told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday that he felt the sentence was “fair and appropriate” given the circumstances, and he agreed with Howard that his client wasn’t a normal sex offender.

“What we have here is an 18-year-old high school student who was very talented, very gifted,” Allen said, adding that Young had scholarship offers from a “couple of universities.”

Allen further claimed that the victim had agreed to have sex with Young, just not on campus, and “upon making this bad judgment, he admitted that he proceeded over her objections to stop, and he admitted that to the police.”

“We don’t think that he qualifies as your typical sex offender. This is not somebody who has preyed on some young kids or unsuspecting people.”

Howard also sentenced Young to serve 24 hours in jail each year on October 4, the date of the rape, during his probation. And he will have register as a sex offender when he is released from his 45-day jail sentence.

According to WFAA, the judge initially included standard language of probation for sex offenders, only to remove those conditions on Wednesday.

HLN reached out to the judge for comment, but she recused herself from the case on Friday without public comment. CNN’s Anderson Cooper reached out to Howard to ask if she would come on CNN but didn’t hear back.

A new judge will oversee the case moving forward, including a motion filed by prosecutors to add more restrictive requirements to Young’s probation.

The victim told WFAA she was devastated by the sentencing.

“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,” she said.

Meanwhile, Young is serving his 45-day jail sentence. If he compiles with the terms of his five-year probation, he won’t have a conviction on his record.

26 comments

  • NS

    If it were my daughter, I would be happy with the sentence. Much easier to get to him outside of prison and give him the sentence he deserves.

  • Jameson

    he deserves to die, and the judge should be sent to prison for her judgment, if it were my daughter, i’d just put a bullet in him

  • Megan White

    We didn’t hear the trial and all the facts. There are girls out there who make accusations against someone b/c they are too afraid to tell the truth. I don’t have an opinion based on these facts alone.

    • Mo Hunty

      People are so quick to rush to judgement and I agree with you Megan, you have to be fair. He was truthful and they truth makes us free, not only from guilt and shame but sometimes we get off lightly.

    • Rebecca

      Well the article clearly states that HE ADMITTED SHE SAID NO to the police — the judge is an ignorant woman who does not deserve to represent our judicial system. I am ashamed of her!
      I would guess perhaps her son or someone she knows was either accused or found guilty of something similar.
      I would sign a petition today to have her removed from that seat of authority which she obviously does not respect nor deserve!

  • Kathy Blake

    Can you not read? The accused said he “proceeded over her objections to stop.” In plain English, she said STOP and he raped her anyway. Glad you aren’t part of the judicial system although your ignorance and lack of compassion rank right up there with the judge’s. This judge should be run out of town.

  • Anthony

    It is sad that everyoine is casting judgement. This guy did wrong and he admitted that. But it is better to drink and drive or to text and drive or shoot someone; everyone gives a second chance then. I believe that people need to relax and understand what goes through someones mind when they committ a crime like this. There is change that can be made in peoples lives.

    • SMH

      Really Beverly??? This isn’t about being judgmental. This punk admitted to raping a child. You don’t have an issue with this? Would you be leaving a statement like this had it been your 14 year old child or grandchild? I hardly think so. You should be as outraged by this any compassionate human being should be. Another child being blamed by a so called judge for what happened to her. A CHILD! Shame shame shame

  • cheri

    well let her be raped and say that she deserved it because she had multiple and had kids so maybe she deserves it too.

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