Rigged system?

Woman condemns judge for allowing her alleged rapist to strike plea deal in which he escapes jail time

Baylor University fraternity president Jacob Walter Anderson got a light sentence despite being accused of gagging and raping a drugged woman. (YouTube/ABC News)

A woman who accused a former Baylor University fraternity president of gagging, choking, and raping her repeatedly behind a tent at a 2016 fraternity house party has condemned the judge in her case after her alleged rapist was given a sentence that did not include any jail time. Texas Judge Ralph Strother allowed Jacob Walter Anderson, 23, to accept a plea deal that sentenced him to three years of probation and doesn’t require him to register as a sex offender. Under the terms of the deal, Anderson pleaded guilty to a simple charge of unlawful restraint. Had the judge denied the agreement, the case would have gone to trial.

“He stole my body, virginity and power over my body and you let him keep it all for eternity,” the victim, who has not been publicly identified, said in a statement. “I am devastated by your decision … I have to live with the fact that after all these years and everything I have suffered, no justice was achieved.”

According to the victim’s testimony, she was attending a party at his fraternity when Anderson offered her a drink that made her feel ill — and that she suspects was likely spiked. He offered to help her get some fresh hair, she said, before he gagged her, raped her, and then choked her until she lost consciousness — leaving her lying unconscious outside.

After denouncing the judge for allowing the lenient sentence, the woman addressed Anderson personally.

“It must be horrible to be you,” she said. “To know what you did to me. To know you are a rapist. To know that you almost killed me. To know that you ruined my life, stole my virginity and stole many other things from me.”

The woman’s attorney, Vic Feazell, said in an email to NBC News that he believes the judicial system had “failed this young woman.” McLennan County Assistant District Attorney Hilary LaBorde defended the decision to pursue a plea agreement with Anderson, saying in a statement that she felt it was “the best outcome given the facts of the case.”

“Given the claims made public, I understand why people are upset. However, all of the facts must be considered and there are many facts the public does not have,” LaBorde said, adding that the terms of the deal require Anderson to be on “felony probation” and to “receive sex offender treatment.” Had the case gone to trial, Anderson would have faced two to 10 years in prison.

Stropher has previously faced criticism over his propensity for awarding men accused of raping Baylor students light sentences. Last year, he sentenced a man to deferred probation after he pleaded guilty in the 2013 rape of a former Baylor student. And earlier this year, Stopher also let a man convicted of sexually assaulting a former Baylor student serve his paltry 30 day sentence on weekends only after the defendant complained that his jail time would interfere with his college courses.

For more on the story, watch the video below.

Read the full story at NBC News and The Washington Post.

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