A Texas judge was forced to rethink her judgement after she sentenced an admitted rapist to work at a rape crisis center.
State District Judge Jeanine Howard faced immediate criticism after ordering defendant Sir Young to serve "250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center" last week. Young pleaded guilty to the October 2011 rape of a 14-year-old girl, but Howard's sentence would allow him to avoid a conviction if he successfully completed his volunteer work.
UPDATE: Howard has spoken out about the light sentence, claiming that the victim "wasn't the victim she claimed to be."
Naturally, victim's advocates didn't agree with the sentence.
"There’s just so many problems with that," Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center executive director Bobbie Villareal told WFAA. "First of all, we would worry about our client safety and well-being, the appropriateness of them having any kind of contact with survivors -- even if it was a past victimization. Just having a criminal defendant in the office could be a triggering effect for many of our clients."
Villareal gave a polite but stern "no" when asked if Young could serve his volunteer hours at the center. Salon reports that Howard has agreed to change the sentence and have Young work the community service hours "somewhere else."
Howard, who's reportedly known for her creative sentencing approaches, hasn't yet commented on what led to her decision in the first place. Villareal said Young's sentence is light for an admitted rapist, even without the weird terms Howard set.
"It is a deterrent to all survivors when you see a very lenient sentence like this passed down," Villareal told WFAA. "It sends a devastating message to survivors of sexual assault. That victim’s family definitely didn’t feel like there was justice for her and for other survivors of sexual assault."