DALLAS -- Dallas County District Judge Carter Thompson made a point-blank promise Thursday to a confessed rapist whose case has been the subject of a media firestorm.
“If you miss a probation meeting, I’m going to find out about it,” Thompson told 20-year-old Sir Young. “If you test positive for drugs, I’m going to find out about it. If you’re in a gang, I’m going to find out about it. If you get arrested again, I’m going to find out about it. Your previous court gave you a second chance. Do not expect a third chance from this court.”
In that hearing, Thompson ordered that all standard sex-offender conditions be re-imposed on Sir Young, who had admitted to raping a 14-year-old fellow student at Booker T. Washington High School in October 2011.
The case was moved to Thompson’s court after State District Judge Jeanine Howard removed herself from the case.
Howard ignited local and national outrage after publicly implying that the rape victim was promiscuous, initially ordering that Young do community service at a rape crisis center, and deciding that he didn’t need to be subject to standard sex offender rules and regulations, such as that he have an evaluation and stay away from minors.
“In this unfortunate situation, [Howard] decided not to give this 14-year-old girl justice, and fortunately, we got another judge that did that,” said District Attorney Craig Watkins after the hearing. “We’re not saying that this young man can’t be rehabilitated, but we should be in a position to make a determination of what needs to be in place to rehabilitate him.”
In late April, Howard sentenced Young to five years of probation. That sentence angered the victim’s family, who felt it wasn’t enough.
That was just the beginning of the family’s outrage.
Howard initially made Young subject to standard sex offender conditions. But days later, Howard reversed course and decided that Young didn't have to be subject to those conditions –- something that no one can ever recall happening in a case involving an admitted rapist.
In explaining her decision-making to the Dallas Morning News, Howard said the girl texted Young asking him to meet her and she agreed to have sex with him, but didn’t want to do so at school. She also said the girl had several sexual partners and had given birth to a child. She also added that Young’s age at the time of the offense played into her decision. He was 18.
“She wasn’t the victim she claimed to be,” the judge told the newspaper. “He is not your typical sex offender.”
The victim’s mother said she was livid and Howard added insult to injury. She said her daughter has never been pregnant - much less had a baby - as Howard claimed.
“My daughter felt like she was attacking her,” the victim’s mother said. “My daughter, once she realized that she was talking about her, she cried all the way to school.”
Young was due in court Thursday because of a motion filed by prosecutors to reinstate those standard sex offender conditions.
It was an extraordinary scene. Nearly a dozen TV cameras lined up as sheriff’s deputies escorted a sheepish-looking Young into the courtroom. He was shackled and wore a gray striped Dallas County jail jumpsuit.
During the hearing, his attorney, Scottie Allen, told the judge that he did not object to the conditions required by law, such as that Young undergo a sex offender evaluation. But objected to the ones that aren’t required, such as that he take regular polygraphs and participate in counseling.
“It’s a unique case, and the circumstances of this offense do not warrant these conditions,” Allen said.
Prosecutor Andrea Moseley told the judge that the conditions were needed to protect the community and to determine “why it is the defendant either chose not to control himself or couldn’t control himself.”
“The state is here not out of spite, not out of some sort of vendetta, but because we are genuinely concerned,” she said.
The judge granted the motion moments later.
“The court is going to grant the state’ motion in all respects,” Thompson said. “The court is going to impose all standard conditions on this defendant that the court imposes on all other probationers that are being treated for this same offense.”
The victim’s mother said she’s grateful to Thompson for making the right call. Her daughter is still taking it one day at a time, she said.
“She has good days,” her mother said. “She has bad days.”
The family plans to file a complaint against Howard with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
“I feel that she was unethical, immoral... The things that she said, some things you just don’t do,” the victim’s mother said. “Some things you just don’t say, especially when it’s a child.”