Relationships

Stop Letting Men Get Away with Rape

Stop making the severity of the consequence less than the severity of the action.

With the recent movements against sexual harassment and sexual assault, such as the #MeToo Movement, it’s still shocking to see that some criminals still get away with their crimes. What’s even more shocking is that some of these criminals, who are rapists, get away with their crimes at the hands of a lenient judge.

In Waco, Texas, a plea deal that allowed a former Baylor University student and ex-Phi Delta Theta fraternity president, who was accused of raping a woman at a fraternity party, was made to avoid serving jail time (according to this Time Magazine article).The article continues to say:

This will be the third time a judge has approved lenient punishment for men accused of sexual assault.

Jacob Walter Anderson, indicted on sexual assault charges and pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of unlawful restraint, received a plea deal for a deferred probation. He also agreed to seek counseling and pay a fine ($400). And he won’t have to register as a sex offender. Baylor University did expel Anderson after a thorough investigation.

Judge Ralph Strother, the judge who made the decision on Anderson’s case, has been lenient before. Judge Strother sentenced a man last year to deferred probation after pleading guilty to a rape in 2013. The guilty man also had to pay for the victim’s counseling. Judge Strother also sentenced a man to felony probation for sexual assault, which meant 30 days in jail. However, this particular guilty man was able to serve his time on the weekends, when it was convenient.

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Brock Turner, another college student with a sentence that does not match his crime. Via http://time.com

This isn’t just happening in Texas. We heard about Brock Turner, who was literally restrained by students who intervened on the unconscious victim’s behalf. Brock Turner was a former Stanford University swimmer who received just six months in a country jail and three years probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. This sentence was by Judge Aaron Persky, who received backlash for the light sentence due to accusations of judicial bias for the young, white, male athlete.

For those wondering how sentencing works, after a defendant is found guilty by the jury, the case goes to the judge for sentencing. There are usually maximum and minimum prison terms, fine amounts, and other penalties that can be dealt as punishment. The judge has the power to take into account aggravating (criminal history, severity of crime) and mitigating (support more lenient sentences) factors. Every state has its own law concerning sexual assault and sentencing schemes, but there is a federal sentencing scheme.

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Ladies & Gentlemen. We have a problem. • We have a problem when a pedophile who sexually assaulted a 3 year old child & physically assaulted her mother gets 90 days of jail time. • When a college student, caught raping an unconscious woman in an alley, gets only 6 months of jail time but serves 3. For RAPE. Not for, as his father deemed the assault he perpetrated, “20 minutes of action.” How fucking revolting. That a grown man would defend his rapist son with that sentence. • This doesn’t even touch on the former frat president of @bayloruniversity, who was just let off for violently raping, and nearly killing, a female student. He will serve no jail time & not even be registered as a sex offender. • Then we come to #CyntoiaBrown. A child victim of sex trafficking. She was sold — SOLD — to a 43 year old man. Sold as a sex slave. I’ll say it again. SOLD. Modern day slavery & pedophilia intersect in the grossest way in her case and, like other women in her position, she likely would have died in captivity. But Cyntoia, at just 16 yrs old, fought back. She shot the man who purchased her when he tried to rape her. We have to STOP saying “when he attempted to have sex with her.” A 43 year old man PURCHASED a human being — a 16 year old girl — & tried to RAPE her. She was not, as she was labeled in court, “a child prostitute.” There is literally no such thing. She was a minor. She was a victim of SEX TRAFFICKING. And she, in the fashion the #2A folks looooove to praise, fought back. “A good kid with a gun.” She shot her rapist in self-defense. He died. Good riddance. And she — THE VICTIM — was convicted of MURDER & sentenced to LIFE in prison. She will not be eligible for parole for 51 years. • This is WRONG. The way we talk about victims vs criminals is WRONG. It has to stop. No more “what was she wearing,” or “why did she go to the party,” or she was “an underage sex worker.” No more she “claimed.” Start saying “she recounted.” No more “why ruin his future for 20 minutes of action,” start saying “he ruined her life.” No. Fucking. More. Stop talking about these men like poor lost boys & these women like sirens. Enough. #FreeCyntoiaBrown

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What about the women? What about the women who have to watch their attacker walk the streets, having received nothing more slap on the wrist? It is absolute inequality, as well as ludicrous. This Baylor victim in particular has expressed outrage as well as exhaustion with the broken justice system. And rightly so. It’s time to stop making the punishment of such a severe crime literally nothing. It’s time to stop letting college men get away with rape.

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Sierra is a junior studying international business and Spanish at Saint...