It seems we have a number of justices in the country that need to be replaced in the USA. Hot on the heels of the Stanford rape case a few months ago [where the judge is fortunately facing a recall], we had ANOTHER judge who has not sentenced someone to prison who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a passed out drunk female on the campus of the University of Colorado.
Austin James Wilkerson was convicted of raping a drunk woman. Rather than facing hard time or any real correction he has been setup in a halfway house situation for 2 years where he can go work during the day, but must sleep in the facility at night. He has been sentenced to be released on extended probation after District Judge Patrick Butler said he “struggled, to be quite frank, with the idea” of imprisoning him. The resemblance to the woefully unjust response to the Brock Turner rape case is shocking.
“It does not satisfy our concerns about deterring one of the most prolific and impactful crimes of gender violence in our society,” Caryn Datz, Boulder county deputy district attorney, said in an interview
“There’s an expectation out in the community that the criminal justice system protects its citizens,” Datz said. “The community expects punishment for the crime of rape.”
If we aren’t communicating to our youth that rape is rape, neigh unto unforgivable, and WRONG by the time they get to college – the (literally) absolute least we can do is to ensure that if they are found guilty of the crime they pay the full penalty. If there is no consequence to this crime of violence that has been visited so many of our citizenry how do we ever expect it to stop?
THERE IS NO CONTEXT WHERE SEX WITH SOMEONE WHO HASN’T ASSENTED IS NOT RAPE!
And then there is the victim’s voice, where neither it nor her suffering is reflected in the a decision – “When I’m not having nightmares about the rape, retaliation or a retrial gone awry, I’m having panic attacks,” she said. “Some days I can’t even get out of bed.” In her plea for a prison sentence, she said: “Have as much mercy for the rapist as he did for me that night.”
He’ll be placed on the sex offender registry – which may be viewed a small is a step forward, but that tool has been viewed for a long time as not necessarily actually accomplishing the goal it was designed to address. It has become in part too murky by lumping together so many various types of crime and itself needs reform as a minimum fix.