A judge in Dallas, Texas just sentenced a 20 year old man to 45 days in jail, 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center and probation for raping a 14 year old classmate back in 2011. When I first heard about this case, I automatically assumed that the judge involved was one of those men who blame females for their own rape, but that’s not the case.
Sir Young, yes that is his name, was 18 years old at the time of the rape. His victim was 14, definitely under the legal age. According to testimony in court, the victim had agreed to have sex with him, but not at school. Young didn’t want to wait and tried to have sex with the girl anyway. The girl objected and tried to get Young to stop, but he proceeded to force himself upon her anyway. Young even told police that he continued force himself upon her after she objected.
After being convicted of rape, Judge Jeanine Howard could have given Young 20 years in prison, but instead sentenced him to only 45 days in jail with probation. She also ordered him to 250 hours of community service at the local rape crisis center.
Why the lenient sentence? The judge blamed the girl. Evidence was presented that she had sex with at least three other boys prior to the rape and that she had given birth to a child. In the judge’s opinion, the girl’s loose moral behavior was responsible for the alleged rape and therefore she gave young what amounted to a slap on the wrist type of sentence.
Andrea Moseley, Chief Prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office responded to the shockingly light sentence, saying:
“We’re certainly concerned about the message that’s being sent to victims of sexual assault. We expect that our victims will be protected, that their reputations will be protected and that they will feel safe in coming forward and reporting these crimes.”
Bobbie Villareal, Director of the Dallas Rape Crisis Center said that Young is not welcome at the center and then told the media why:
“Just having a criminal defendant in the office could be a triggering affect for many of our clients. It’s just not appropriate.”
Scottie Allen, Young’s defense attorney told the media:
“What we have here is an 18-year-old high school student who was very talented, very gifted.”
“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.”
After rendering her sentence and the public outcry against her, Judge Howard has now recused herself from the case. A new judge will oversee any further developments in the case including any appeals or motions from both sides. It sounds like the prosecutor’s office is planning on asking for further restrictions on Young’s probation.
The victim, whose identity is being withheld since she is still a minor, told the media:
“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.”
What I don’t understand is that Texas law states that anyone 18 year of age or older who has sex with anyone under the age of 18, even if the sex is consensual, is guilty of statutory rape. It gives no allowance for consent from the minor or not.
Moseley should appeal the entire sentence handed down from Howard and insist on a sentence that is more in accordance with Texas Law. Otherwise Judge Howard’s ruling is sending a message that rape is okay if the girl has a bad reputation. It doesn’t matter if she is a minor or if she objected if she has a questionable reputation. Rapists won’t have to worry about being charged and sent to prison for statutory rape either.
I also believe that Judge Howard should be removed from the bench for her ruling as it may have just declared open season on young girls in the Dallas area, something no one wants.