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Victim blaming

‘Smug’ 20-year-old who drugged and raped his teenage sister could spend just 4 months in jail

By WITW Staff on May 25, 2017

A 20-year-old man from Crescent City, California, has pleaded guilty to drugging and raping his 16-year-old sister by repeatedly giving her marijuana “dabs” and demanding that she have sex with him until she became so “out of it” that she no longer recognized him as her brother. The man is expected to serve only four months in prison for the crime — a sentence so lenient that the prosecutor in the case described it as worse than the infamous light sentencing handed down to Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner after he was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

Probation officers had requested that the defendant be denied probation and receive six years in prison after a probation report found that he “showed no real remorse and seemed smug” in the aftermath of the crime. On May 17, Judge William H. Follet sentenced the defendent to just three years in prison with probation and 240 days in county jail at half time. As a result, the man could serve only 120 days in jail and no time in prison at all, according to District Attorney Dale P. Trigg.

After the Turner case, California legislators had passed a bill to mandate prison sentences for those who sexually assault drugged or unconscious victims. The new law was reportedly not considered in the present case, however, because the crime had occurred prior to the law change.

Follet justified the lenient ruling by noting that the defendant would face stigma over the conviction and that the victim had taken off her own clothes while still conscious. Trigg, for his part, condemned the judge for effectively “blaming the victim.”

“In a lot of ways, this case is more egregious than Brock Turner. This defendant took advantage of a position of trust as this victim’s big brother,” said Trigg. “He knew she didn’t want to have sex with him. She told him that repeatedly. So he got her stoned on dabs he gave her until she didn’t even recognize him in order get what he wanted.”

“The message that this sends to our community is that sexual predators who get their juvenile siblings stoned enough can have sex with them without any meaningful consequence,” Trigg added. “That is not the message I want to send to our community.”

Read the full story at CNN.


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