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November 15, 2013

Alabama man reduces sentence of men who raped 14-year-old girl from 20 years to time served

This judge seems to think repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl isn't worth any jail time. Judge Slashes Sentence For Alabama Man Who Raped Teen To Probation With No Jailtime | ThinkProgress
A judge in Alabama has ruled that a man convicted of raping a 14 year old on three occasions will get no jailtime. Instead, Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof reduced the rapist’s 10- and 20-year prison sentences to two years in a program for nonviolent criminals and three years on probation. He will also pay a $2,000 fine. In an interview with Mother Jones, Austin Smith Clem’s defense lawyer said the sentence, however light, will inconvenience his client’s lifestyle. “It would seem to be relatively mild,” defense attorney Dan Totten told Mother Jones. “But [Clem's] lifestyle for the next 6 years is going to be very controlled…If he goes to a party and they’re serving beer, he can’t say, ‘Can I have one?’ If he wanted to go across the Tennessee line, which as the crow flies is 8 or 9 miles from his house, and buy a lottery ticket, he can’t do that…It’s not a slap on the wrist.” The family of the raped teenager, now 20, said they were “floored” by the light sentence. She said she fears for her family’s safety because Clem is free. The district attorney, meanwhile, is reviewing his options to pursue a new sentence. If this outcome of a rape trial sounds familiar, that’s because two months ago a Montana District judge suspended most of a rapist’s sentence to only 30 days in jail. The decision gained notoriety, particularly for the judge’s comments that the 14 year old held responsibility for the perpetrator’s actions.