Uncut: Dallas judge's sentence, comments in rape case miss the mark

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by JOHN McCAA

Bio | Email | Follow: @johnmccaa

WFAA

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 7:54 PM

I’m not quite sure what a local judge was thinking when she sentenced a confessed rapist to work at a rape crisis center.

But based on community outrage, neither do you.

It’s this week’s Uncut commentary.

Judge Jeanine Howard has a reputation for creative sentencing. Sometimes, that can be a good thing; assist those who express true remorse.

But in this case, when the attacker confessed to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old, she settled on a mix of probation, jail time, and 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center.

Fortunately, the center had better sense and some strict rules for volunteers: no criminal backgrounds whatsoever. So community service there is out.

In an newspaper interview, the judge has said the girl already had multiple sex partners and had texted the then-18-year-old assailant about having sex, so she wasn’t such an innocent victim.

Well judge, 14 year olds say and do a lot of dumb things. But the punishment for young people doing dumb things shouldn’t be easing up on the assailant or blaming the victim.

There’s a reason we don’t want 14 year olds to vote, or drive, or drink alcohol, and a reason we punishment  people for having sex with them.

Number one, because they’re still kids. And number two, because adults (and 18 is an adult) should know better.

I do hope the defendant in this case turns his life around. And the victim, as well.

Those are my thoughts, tell me yours at jmccaa@wfaa.com.

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