“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?