The District Attorney of Del Norte County, California was livid after a judge gave a light sentence to a 20-year-old man who pleaded guilty to raping his 16-year-old sister after drugging her. Prosecutors sought a six-year prison sentence for the man, who LawNewz will not name to protect the sister’s identity. Instead, Judge William H. Follett gave him a low jail term with the expectation that he’ll be free after serving 120 days, with probation after his release.
According to the court documents, the defendant had given his sister marijuana “dabs,” or concentrated doses of cannabis that provide a stronger, faster high. He asked her to have sex with him over and over, and she kept saying no, until she was so high that she didn’t recognize that he was her brother, the complaint said.
“In a lot of ways, this case is more egregious than Brock Turner,” District Attorney Dale Trigg said after the sentencing, invoking the case of the Stanford University swimmer who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a fraternity house, only to receive a six-month jail sentence. Trigg pointed out that in this case, the perpetrator targeted his own younger sister, and intentionally put her in a state where he could do what he wanted.
Like Judge Aaron Persky in the Turner case, Judge Follett didn’t want to cause too much harm to the young defendant, Trigg said. Judge Follett reportedly indicated that he felt the “stigma” the man would have from his crime and having to register as a sex offender was punishment enough, and sufficient to deter others from committing similar acts. Trigg said the judge’s main reason for his decision was rehabilitation.
Another reason the judge reportedly gave was troubling to Trigg. The DA said the judge pointed out that the teen took off her clothing on her own, and was conscious during the act, even though she was under the influence.
“That to me is way out of line because you’re blaming the victim,” Trigg said.
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