FEB 15, 2007 Investigation: Sex Offenders Getting Light Sentences KSL

Sex crimes in Utah — the statistics are shocking. There are 10,000 new sex victims in our state during the last three years. Legislators have passed laws providing harsh punishment for sex-offenders, but Investigative Reporter Debbie Dujanovic found evidence that even the more severe offenders are not always being punished.

During another investigation on sex offenders, we noticed a disturbing pattern, so we pulled 100 cases from all over Utah and found a significant percentage were getting sentences that might be considered very little punishment at all. Carrie Parker, Victim: “It killed my childhood. He took advantage of me as a child, innocent, believing he was someone I should trust.” The offender was her fourth-grade teacher, James E. Wind. He could have spent a year and a half behind bars. His actual sentence consisted of apology letters to his victims, treatment, and 90 days in jail.

Carrie Parker: “I have to live with this the rest of my life.” Carrie’s story is just one example of a pattern we uncovered of unspeakable acts against children and offenders getting a lot less punishment than what you might expect. For sodomizing a child, William Crandall could have spent three decades in prison, but he got no prison, no jail, probation. He re-offended four years later.

Richard Wayne Williams handcuffed two girls, sexually abused them and also faced 30 years in prison. He got five months in jail. There was a possible five-year prison term for Howard Johnson, who had sex with a boy he met online. He got 90 days in jail.

Janie Sorenson had sex with a high school student and faced five years inside a cell. Instead, probation with zero time served.

Then there’s Joseph Record. In 1998 he was convicted of fondling two young girls. He faced five years in prison and got 63 days in jail. On probation he racked up a list of violations: he exposes himself in public, contacts his victim, drives a busload of Utah kids around, was labeled a serial pedophile by his therapist. Straight to prison? No, six months in jail. It took eight years, but Record is finally in prison, busted in November on federal kiddie porn charges.

Are these criminals getting breaks? Not necessarily. Prosecutors say they’re sometimes forced to make deals because of evidence problems, victims who won’t testify, things beyond their control. But we dug deeper and found a report no one seems to know about. It suggests there’s something else swaying sentences.


MAR 31, 2014 Wealthy Child Rapist Given Probation As Judge Felt He Would ‘Not Do Well’ in Jail TIME

Newly released documents reveal that in 2009 a Delaware judge sentenced a wealthy heir to probation after he admitted he had raped his 3-year old daughter, saying the rich white man would “not do well” in prison.

Robert H. Richards IV, one of the heirs to the du Pont fortune, admitted in June 2008 that he had raped his 3-year old daughter, Delaware Online reports. The girl told her grandmother about the 2005 alleged abuse, and said that her father had said it was “our little secret” but that she didn’t want “my daddy touching me anymore.” Richards was originally charged with two counts of second-degree rape, but accepted a last-minute plea deal on fourth-degree rape charges, a class C violent felony that usually comes with over two years of jail time. Prosecutors sought only probation, and Judge Jan Jurden agreed, sentencing him to an 8-year prison sentence but commuting all the prison time in favor of probation.

Judges occasionally refuse to send felons to prison if they are ill or frail, but Richards is 6’4″ and was in good health. Defense Attorney Joseph A. Hurley said the judge had acted appropriately. “Sex offenders are the lowest of the low in prison,” Hurley said. “He’s a rich, white boy who is a wuss and a child perv. The prison can’t protect them, and Jan Jurden knows that reality. She is right on.” The news of the sentencing emerged after Richards’s ex-wife Tracy made court documents public in a civil lawsuit demanding compensatory and punitive damages for her daughter, and alleging that Richards also molested their infant son. No criminal charges have been filed against Richards for molesting the boy.


MAY 1, 2014 Rapist Gets Light Sentence Because Judge Says 14-Year-Old ‘Wasn’t The Victim She Claimed To Be’ HUFFINGTON POST

A Texas judge used those words to justify the lighter-than-light sentence she gave to a rapist, telling the Dallas Morning News that the 14-year-old victim had three previous sexual partners and had given birth before the sexual assault. As a result, Judge Jeanine Howard sentenced Sir Young to just 45 days in jail, 5 years of deferred probation and 250 hours of community service. If Young completes his probation, he will have a chance to wipe the conviction off his record.

The paper reports that the judge asked the victim several times during the trial if she cried during the attack. The girl said she did not, but cried later. The victim also testified that she only wanted to kiss Young, and had told him “no” and “stop” during the attack. Young, who pleaded guilty to raping the girl at school in October 2011, was 18 at the time of the attack. Howard said his age and the victim’s age were another consideration. “There are rape cases that deserve life. There are rape cases that deserve 20 years,” Howard told the Dallas Morning News. “Every now and then you have one of those that deserve probation. This is one of those and I stand by it.”

Howard initially ordered Young to fulfill his community service at a rape crisis center — something that didn’t sit well with the center. “We all read it and we’re like, wait a minute,” Bobbie Villareal, executive director of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center told the Dallas Observer. “It flies in the face of logic,” Villareal told the local CBS station. “First of all, in that you would ask someone to do their community supervision for the population that has been directly affected by the exact crime. That’s like saying a pedophile should do their community supervision helping at a pre-school.”


JAN 12, 2006 Light Sentence for Child Molester Leaves Vermont Judge Under Fire FOX NEWS

MONTPELIER, Vt. –  Judge Edward Cashman should be the darling of conservatives: a churchgoer, a former prosecutor, a Vietnam vet and a member of the bench known for his hard-line stands: A decade ago he jailed for 41 days the parents of a suspect in a rape case because they refused to cooperate with prosecutors. In the past few days, though, Cashman has been vilified by conservatives on TV and on blogs. On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly told viewers as video of Cashman rolled: “You may be looking at the worst judge in the USA.” And several Vermont Republican lawmakers have demanded he resign or be impeached.

The reason: Cashman sentenced a child molester to just 60 days of jail time — a sentence he said was designed to ensure the man got prompt sex-offender treatment but critics say was too soft. “As far as we’re concerned, Cashman’s district can hereby be considered a predator’s sanctuary,” wrote the Caledonian Record newspaper of St. Johnsbury. “As long as judges like Ed Cashman are allowed to sit on Vermont benches, children cannot be considered safe.” Cashman has been unswayed: “I am aware that the intensity of some public criticism may shorten my judicial career,” he wrote in a memorandum this week. “To change my decision now, however, simply because of some negative sentiment, would be wrong.” The firestorm erupted last week when Cashman sentenced Mark Hulett, 34, for having sexual contact with a girl, beginning when she was 6, over a four-year period. The Corrections Department had concluded that Hulett was unlikely to commit another such offense, and Vermont does not provide sex-offender treatment to such inmates until they reach the end of their jail time. Cashman said he would have imposed more jail time — a three-year minimum — if the state promised treatment while Hulett was jailed.


NOV 15, 2013 Alabama Man Won’t Serve Prison Time for Raping 14-Year-Old MOTHER JONES

Update (11/16/13): The office of the Limestone County district attorney has filed a motion seeking prison time for Austin Smith Clem.

Update (11/15/13): Brian Jones, the Limestone County district attorney, tells Mother Jones that he is “reviewing available options to set aside this sentence and to achieve a sentence that gives justice to our victim.”

An Alabama man convicted of raping a teenage girl will serve no prison time. On Wednesday, a judge in Athens, Alabama, ruled that the rapist will be punished by serving two years in a program aimed at nonviolent criminals and three years of probation. In September, a jury in Limestone County, in north central Alabama, found Austin Smith Clem, 25, guilty of raping Courtney Andrews, a teenage acquaintance and his then-neighbor, three times—twice when she was 14, and again when was she was 18. Clem’s defense attorney did not call any witnesses at trial, according to AL.com. After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Clem on one count of first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree rape.

According to Clem’s sentencing order, which Brian Jones, the Limestone County district attorney, provided to Mother Jones, Clem will serve the first half of his sentence under the supervision of the Limestone County community corrections program. The program is aimed at “redirecting the lives” of nonviolent, low-level offenders who are “likely to maintain a productive and law-abiding life as a result of accountability, guidance and direction to services they need,” according to the program’s website.


Montana judge sparks outrage with light sentence for man who raped 12-year-old daughter CHICAGO TRIBUNE

A judge’s lenient sentence for a Montana man who raped his 12-year-old daughter has sparked outrage from afar and calls closer to home to toughen the state’s law, which allows such lenience in certain circumstances. Enacted in a wave of similar legislation around the country after the killing of a 9-year-old Florida girl in 2005, the Montana statute requires a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for anyone convicted of rape, incest or sexual abuse of a child 12 or younger. But unlike many of those other laws, Montana’s also allows judges to dole out far less severe punishment in a case where a court-appointed evaluator determines that ordering treatment outside prison “affords a better opportunity for rehabilitation of the offender and for the ultimate protection of the victim and society.”

District Judge John McKeon, who oversees a three-county area of eastern Montana, cited that exception this month when he gave the father a 30-year suspended sentence after his guilty plea to incest and ordered him to spend 60 days in jail over the next six months, giving him credit for the 17 days already served. His sentence requires him to undergo sex offender treatment and includes many other restrictions. Court records said the mother walked in on the father raping the child. The Associated Press is not identifying the man to avoid identifying the victim of a sexual assault.


APR 6, 2017 Sex offender pilot gets light sentence in kiddie porn case NEW YORK POST

A Queens judge took pity on a kiddie-porn-loving pilot Thursday, sentencing him to just six months in jail and 10 years’ probation. Former Delta pilot Thomas Perkins was found guilty of possessing two disturbing videos depicting pre-pubescent girls March 23. He could have faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of all charges. The ex-pilot had faced up to 7 years in prison if convicted of all charges. Prosecutors had sought one to three years behind bars.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter called the “insidious” smut found in Perkins’ possession “truly violent disgusting child pornography,” adding “only a pedophile could get any pleasure in watching a naked little child.” But while clearly disgusted by the crime, Buchter noted that life hadn’t been easy for the perv since he’d been busted. “He already lost his job,” Buchter said. “He is disgraced in the eyes of his neighbors and family.” Prosecutors had sought one to three years behind bars. Perkins also was put on 10 years’ probation and must register as a sex offender. He will return to court May 4 for a hearing to determine his sex-offender level. The Texas creep — who has since been fired from the airline — was nabbed by feds who found the foul films on his iPad after he piloted a flight from Montreal to JFK Airport. Perkins said he’d bought the device used and that the videos weren’t his, but a jury still found him guilty of possessing two of the five repugnant flicks.



SEP 4, 2016 Mad about Brock Turner’s sentence? It’s not uncommon CNN

Too lenient is how critics condemned the six-month jail sentence for Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer convicted of three felonies for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. His leaving jail Friday after serving three months only deepened perceptions of injustice in a case that has generated controversy and action on numerous fronts: a campaign to recall the judge, who will no longer hear criminal cases; approved legislation in California to make prison time mandatory in some sexual assaults; and a ban on hard alcohol on Stanford’s campus.

To those who study and work in the criminal justice system, Turner’s sentence came as little surprise. Little to no time in jail or prison is common among college athletes convicted of first-time sexual offenses — if they are charged at all, according to judges, prosecutors, academics and criminologists who spoke with CNN. As with Turner, their age, clean record and community support — athletic privilege by another name — tend to weigh heavily in their favor. The athlete was 19 at the time of the assault. Studies have attempted to prove this with little empirical satisfaction. One frequently cited study, published in Sociology of Sport Journal in 1997, found that even though athletes are more likely to be arrested for sexual assault than the general population, they are less likely to be convicted. Based on the analysis of 217 criminal complaints, the study found that 54% of arrests in the general population for sexual assault result in conviction, compared to 31% of athletes arrested for sexual assault.


AUG 22, 2016 Babysitter gets ‘basically probation’ in child molestation USA TODAY

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A former Missouri YMCA employee and youth minister-in-training was sentenced to 30 days in jail for molesting an 8-year-old boy in 2014 while babysitting him. Circuit Judge Calvin Holden initially gave Joseph Presley, 23, a 10-year sentence, but then Holden suspended the sentence. The prosecuting attorney wanted a seven- to eight-year prison sentence. Holden explained his decision to give Presley “basically probation,” pointing out that Presley sought counseling after the molestation was brought to light. Presley will have to register as a sex offender under Missouri law for the rest of his life. Presley pleaded guilty in June to one count of first-degree child molestation. Police said he placed his hand down the boy’s pants twice.


FEB 1, 2017 Convicted child killer, sex offender released from La Porte Co. Jail WNDU

A convicted murderer and child molester has been released from the La Porte County Jail. Richard Dobeski was only 16 when he was convicted of killing a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old in the La Porte County community of Long Beach in 1964. He was sentenced to 40 years for that crime. After his release, he spent time behind bars for molesting a 7-year-old boy in Westville and for possessing child pornography. He was sentenced for those crimes in April 2008. Once he was released, Dobeski was charged in both La Porte County and Marion County on July 23, 2015, for a criminal offense of failure to register as a sex offender. Dobeski had remained in custody since that time. Last month, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Dobeski’s conviction for failing to register in Marion County. His time served for that conviction was credited to his La Porte County sentence. Dobeski was released from custody on Monday.


APR 27, 2016 Dennis Hastert Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison in Hush-Money Case NBC NEWS

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison in his hush-money case by a judge who called him a “serial child molester” and ordered him to enroll in a sex-offender treatment program. Hastert, 74, was accused of abusing four boys between the ages of 14 and 17 when he was a coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois decades ago. One of them broke a lifelong silence to testify about his private torment at the hearing in Chicago federal court.

The onetime Republican power broker was not charged with any sexual crimes because of the statute of limitations, but he pleaded guilty to making illegal cash withdrawals to pay one of his accusers. Hastert, who arrived in a wheelchair, had no discernible reaction as U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin, after a blistering outline of the allegations, handed down the sentence — which includes a $250,000 fine and two years of supervised release. “Nothing is worse than using serial child molester and speaker of the House in the same sentence,” said the judge, who used his discretion to go well beyond the six-month prison term prosecutors had recommended. 


APR 27, 2016 Judge calls Dennis Hastert ‘serial child molester,’ sentences him to year in prison REVIEW JOURNAL

CHICAGO — Dennis Hastert, the Republican who for eight years presided over the House and was second in the line of succession to the presidency, was sentenced Wednesday to more than a year in prison in the hush-money case that included accusations he sexually abused teenagers while coaching high school wrestling. Judge Thomas M. Durkin also ordered Hastert to undergo sex-offender treatment, spend two years on supervised release after 15 months behind bars and pay a $250,000 fine to a crime victims’ fund. In explaining his punishment, the judge called Hastert a “serial child molester” and described as “unconscionable” his attempt to accuse one of the victims of extortion.

Hastert becomes one of the highest-ranking politicians in American history to be sentenced to prison. He pleaded guilty last fall to violating banking law as he sought to pay $3.5 million to someone referred to in court papers only as Individual A to keep the sex abuse secret.

Earlier in the hearing, a former athlete who said he was molested by Hastert decades ago told the courtroom that he was “devastated” by the abuse. The man, now in his 50s, said Hastert abused him while they were alone in a locker room. He struggled to hold back tears as he described the incident in detail. In the years since, he said, he sought professional help and had trouble sleeping. He said the memory still causes him pain. He said he trusted and looked up to Hastert.


APR 4, 2017 Judge wishes he could sentence child molester to longer prison term M LIVE

BAY CITY, MI — In court to answer for spending years sexually assaulting two young boys, a Bay City man asked a judge for mercy. He’s been reading his Bible, the shackled man said, and can feel God’s presence. Changed by his religious experience, he’s ready to reenter society, he said.

The judge, though, wasn’t buying the defendant’s penitence, saying he wished he could send him to prison for even longer than he ultimately did. This interaction played out Monday, April 3, between Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill and Gregory M. Schultz, 40. Schultz in February pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim younger than 13. In exchange, the prosecution dismissed four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim younger than 13.

Before Schultz spoke, Department of Health and Human Services employee Marcy Hills addressed the court. She is the case worker for both of Schultz’s victims, at least one of whom is a ward of the state. One of the victims was first raped by Schultz when he was 4, she said. “There is no miracle cure for helping a boy overcome all the negative impacts of being raped for years by an adult male,” said Hills, who said the victims were too traumatized to attend the sentencing. “There is only encouragement to be given to (him), reminding that he is strong enough, he is good enough, he is worthy enough to move on.”


MAR 17, 2017 Former Hubbard mayor admits to raping 4-year-old WYTV
WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Former Hubbard Mayor Richard Keenan, who now admits to raping a young child, is facing life behind bars. He was visibly shaken Friday as he changed his plea to guilty on 20 counts of sex crimes, including eight counts of rape. Keenan agreed to a life sentence with the eligibility of parole after ten years. According to court documents, the abuse began as early as September 2013 when the victim — who Keenan knew — was just 4 years old. “It gives the victim some closure. Obviously, keeps this young child from having to testify and I think it’s a good result given all the facts and circumstances,” said Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman. He said prosecutors have a responsibility to do what’s best for the victim and that they accomplished that Friday. “Not bringing her in here to have to testify in the small courtroom with this man in there as well.” Keenan’s family was emotional. They lashed out at reporters after the hearing and tried to block him from the camera’s view. “I think what we’ve seen today is that they’re tough, right? They’re tough on everyone. They’re tough on the defendant’s family, they’re tough on the victim’s family, and obviously, our concern lies with the victim’s family,” Wildman said. Keenan remains free on bond until his sentencing. He will undergo a pre-sentencing investigation, which could take a few weeks.