Did sex assault victim's words keep attacker out of jail?

Last Updated Aug 24, 2016 8:04 AM EDT

There are growing concerns over a controversial sentencing for sexual assault. David Becker, 18, was sentenced to two years of probation last week for sexually assaulting two women sleeping at a Massachusetts house party. Becker said he didn’t know one of the women was asleep during the April assault and denied having physical contact with the other.

Becker was originally charged with two counts of rape, but a judge decided to give him two years of probation, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

In court during a plea deal, Becker’s attorney argued that the teenager had already suffered from the consequences of his actions. Earlier this month, his attorney had painted Becker as a good kid.

“He’s been a model citizen. He’s a great student,” the attorney said.

According to court documents, the victims said they slept in a bed with Becker after a night of drinking and that Becker sexually assaulted them without their consent. One victim told authorities that when she awoke, “David had pulled her pants and underwear down to her thighs.”

Shortly after the incident, Becker texted the victim multiple times to apologize. “Just wanted you to know that I really am sorry,” he said in one of the messages. The victim replied, “Don’t even worry about it it’s all good.” She later told investigators she “did not know what else to say.”

While the prosecution recommended Becker serve two years in jail, at least one of the victims said she didn’t want Becker to be incarcerated.

“The victim’s wishes are very, very powerful,” CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said.

“If you have a victim that says she does not want to see a defendant do jail time, we shouldn’t think that sexual assault equals jail time,” Klieman added.

“Does the punishment fit the crime?” Miller asked Becker’s former classmate, Karla Martin.

“No, it doesn’t,” Martin said. “This whole sentencing shows other people, other victims of sexual assault that if they say something, no justice is going to happen.”

Earlier this month, a Colorado judge gave Austin James Wilkerson a two-year work leave jail sentence for sexually assaulting a drunk woman at a party.

In June, former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner received a six-month sentence for assaulting a woman behind a dumpster outside a party on the university’s campus.

“There are no two sexual assault cases that are in fact the same. So it’s easy for us to say that these three cases are exactly alike when they’re really not,” Klieman said.

If Becker completes his probation, he will not be registered as a lifelong sex offender. The 18-year-old was accepted to the University of Dayton for college. The school tells us that he will not be attending this year.