It seems that District Judge Jeanine Howard doesn’t know what constitutes rape in the state of Texas and perhaps she should step down from the bench for a while until she figures it out.
At least she has recused herself from one of the most absurd rulings regarding rape in modern memory. Good idea. Howard has been embroiled in a firestorm of controversy – and blasted by prosecutors — ever since she handed down a light sentence to an admitted rapist who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl.
“She wasn’t the victim she claimed to be,” Howard said before sentencing Sir Young (pictured) to just 45 days in jail, 5 years of deferred probation and 250 hours of community service – at a rape crisis center.
Howard wants Young, an admitted rapist, to spend 250 hours working with women who are in crisis after being sexually assaulted? How is Young working at a rape crisis center helpful to these women and what kind of signal does that send to other potential rapists?
“We all read it and we’re like, wait a minute,” Bobbie Villareal, executive director of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center told the Dallas Observer. “It flies in the face of logic,” Villareal told the local CBS station.
“First of all, in that you would ask someone to do their community supervision for the population that has been directly affected by the exact crime. That’s like saying a pedophile should do their community supervision helping at a pre-school.”
I feel bad for the 14-year-old rape victim because Howard essentially accused her of asking to be raped, even though Young admitted that he raped 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 sentence of 20 years in prison. How much more information did Howard need?
Here’s something more troubling: Howard actually told the media — The Dallas Morning News — that medical records show that the 14-year-old victim had three previous sexual partners and had given birth before the sexual assault. (The girl’s mother denies her daughter has ever been pregnant.)
This rape victim, who is now 17, is a minor and Howard callously shared the details of her alleged past sexual relationships with the media – and the nation.
Regardless, no still means no. In court, the victim testified that she only wanted to kiss Young, and had told him “no” and “stop” during the attack. But Howard didn’t seem to be swayed.
“There are rape cases that deserve life. There are rape cases that deserve 20 years,” Howard told the Dallas Morning News. “Every now and then you have one of those that deserve probation. This is one of those and I stand by it.”
The victim told a local television station that she was devastated by the sentencing.
“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,” she said.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, who is correctly outraged by Howard’s ruling, told the Associated Press that his prosecutors would ask the new judge to order a review of Young’s probation and possibly tighten the conditions.
Watkins also said Howard’s ruling also makes other victims reluctant to help authorities.
“The judge basically blamed the victim for what happened to her,” Watkins told the Associated Press. “In this case, when a victim comes forward and the person that they put their trust in — the judge — calls into question their credibility … does a disservice to our ability as prosecutors,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to The Dallas Morning News, Young will still have to register as a sex offender but he will not face many of the other restrictions given to such offenders. He won’t be required to keep away from children and will not have to attend sex offender treatment or refrain from pornography.
Judge Howard did the right thing by recusing herself from the case and Watkins is spot-on by scrutinizing Howard’s ruling in an effort to protect young girls who may become sexual assault victims in the future.
What do you think?
Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30