crimesider

Texas judge orders rapist to volunteer at rape crisis center

Sir Young CBS DFW

DALLAS - A Texas judge ordered an admitted rapist to spend 45 days in jail, plus 5 years probation and 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center where volunteers work directly with victims, reports CBS DFW.

Sir Young, 20, was sentenced Friday as part of a plea deal for raping a 14-year-old girl on their high school campus when he was 18, according to the station.

He had faced a maximum of 20 years in prison, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"When probation called, they asked, 'Is this possible?' I said, 'No, it's not possible'," Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC) executive director Bobbie Villareal told CBS DFW.

DARCC is the only rape crisis center in Dallas that uses volunteers, and it requires them to clear a criminal background check. Volunteers work directly with victims, answering their calls to the hotline and assisting them during rape exams. They also work with local organizations like the Girl Scouts and attend public events doing community outreach with police, according to the station.

"It flies in the face of logic. 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," Villareal said.

Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), agrees that it's not a logical idea to have a rapist spend time with rape victims.

"It's incredibly hard to get [sexual assault] survivors to report in the first place and when they see sentences like this, it's just more discouragement," Berkowitz told CBS News' Crimesider.

The Dallas Morning News reports the judge who issued Young's sentence, State District Judge Jeanine Howard, explained her sentencing decision Thursday, saying she did so in part because the girl wasn't a virgin and "wasn't the victim she claimed to be."

"He is not your typical sex offender," Howard reportedly told the paper.

She also said she didn't intend for Young to work with rape victims, saying she made her decision in the "spur of the moment" and thought he could volunteer there without coming into contact with victims, according to the paper.

The judge went on to say that her decision was based on several factors, including medical records which she says show the 14-year-old girl had given birth to a baby prior to the sexual assault.

However, the girl's mother said Friday that her daughter has never been pregnant and she was "livid" over the judge's comments, reports the paper.

Berkowitz, founder of RAINN, told Crimesider he can't imagine how the girl's previous sexual history could be relevant to whether or not Young committed a crime.

District Attorney Craig Watkins reportedly said he was "alarmed" by Howard's decision.

The paper says the D.A.'s office plans to file a motion seeking the terms of the probation to be reconsidered.

Howard has reportedly said she plans on recusing herself from the case. If that happens, another judge will be assigned.


  • Stephanie Slifer On Twitter»

    Stephanie Slifer covers crime and justice for CBSNews.com.

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