05.05.14, 05:09 PM #1
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Texas judge sentences rapist to, probation...
(CNN) – Outrage is growing over a Texas judge who sentenced the admitted rapist of a 14-year-old to probation.
Sir Young was also exempted from several standard sex offender regulations.
Judge Jeanine Howard is now recusing herself after sparking even more anger by implying that the victim was promiscuous and handing down, what some say, is an inappropriately light sentence in a rape case.
20-year-old Young plead guilty to raping his classmate in a room at Booker T. Washington High School in 2011. He faced up to 20 years in jail but was instead sentenced to five years of probation and a 45-day stint in jail.
"We're certainly concerned about the message that's being sent to victims of sexual assault and that they will feel safe coming forward and reporting these crimes," Dallas County DA Chief Prosecutor Andrea Moseley said.
But it wasn't just the sentence that shocked the community. Judge Howard publicly implied that the 14-year-old victim was promiscuous and not "the victim she claimed to be."
Howard told The Dallas Morning News that she based the sentence, in part, on medical records which she says indicated the girl had three sexual partners and had given birth to a baby.
She stands by her ruling, telling the paper that Young was "not your typical sex offender."
The victim denies the clams and has said since the verdict, she regrets coming forward about the rape.
"I was shocked that a judge, someone that I trusted with this case, would go behind my back and make these allegations that she knows nothing about," the rape victim said.
Adding to the firestorm was another condition that stunned rape advocates. Young was ordered to serve 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center, a condition that changed after the center said he was not welcome there.
"Just having a criminal defendant in the office could be a triggering effect for many of our clients," Bobbie Villareal of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center said. "It's just not appropriate."
Following public backlash, Howard recused herself from the case.
A new judge will oversee the case moving forward, including a motion filed by prosecutors to add more restrictive requirements to his probation.
Young is currently serving his 45-day jail sentence."Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton
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