Texas judge lightly sentences admitted rapist, says 14-year-old he assaulted not ‘the victim she claimed to be'
Advocates for sexual assault victims are furious with a Texas judge who said a raped 14-year-old "wasn't the victim she claimed to be," even after her attacker admitted to the crime.
Jeanine Howard, a Dallas County district judge, has drawn further criticism for her light sentence last week — a five-year probation — against the rapist in the 2011 assault.
The now 20-year-old Sir Young will be labeled a sex offender for life, but Howard did not issue standard sex offender restrictions, such as ordering him to refrain from pornography or undergoing sex offender treatment, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Howard removed herself from the case Friday, and a new judge has taken over.
Young admitted to raping the girl in a music room at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts on Oct. 4, 2011. He faced a maximum sentance of 20 years in prison.
Howard told the newspaper Young "is not your typical sex offender" and his 14-year old victim "wasn't the victim she claimed to be."
She implied the girl had been promiscuous and said she based her decision partially on medical records that showed the victim had three sexual partners and had given birth to a baby.
The victim, now 17, told WFAA she has never been pregnant.
"And three partners? I don't even know where she got this. I feel like this was her way of trying to make herself feel better," she told the TV station.
Howard said other factors contributed to her decision, too. She said the girl agreed to have sex with Young, just not at school.
According to Young's confession, the victim said "no" and "stop" as he took off her pants. She continued to say "no" during the attack.
The victim told the Dallas Morning News that she feels like she went through the trail for nothing.
"It was a slap in the face," she told WFAA. "I thought I was going to get help. I thought that it would be taken care of, and I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore."
Under his probation conditions, Young will spend 45 days in jail. For the next five years, he'll also spend the anniversary of the rape in prison.
Young's sentence initially included 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center, but the local Dallas center said he is not welcome.
Howard told the Dallas Morning News she never wanted Young to work directly with rape victims and thought he could help clean the building. There's no word on where Young will carry out his community service.
"This is an example of why people don't come forward and report their sexual assaults because they are not only victimized at the time but the continuing game of shame and blame," Bobby Villareal, executive director of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, told WFAA.
Prosecutors have filed a motion seeking the terms of Young's probation be reconsidered.