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Judge Sets Aside Rape Charges for Probation So Ex-Athlete Can Enjoy 'a College Experience'

 
 
Reply Wed 24 Aug, 2016 09:24 pm

Judge Sets Aside Rape Charges for Probation So Ex-Athlete Can Enjoy 'a College Experience'

He was charged with sexually assaulting two unconscious women at a party, but god forbid an athlete miss out on a "college experience."


By Travis Gettys / Raw Story
August 23, 2016


http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-08-23_at_10.41.58_am.png
Photo Credit: Screenshot / WWLP via Raw Story

UPDATE: In a statement to MassLive, the University of Dayton said that David Becker will not be attending the school. Becker’s attorney, Thomas Rooke, had no comment.

A former Massachusetts high school athlete will avoid serving jail time and registering as a sex offender after he was charged with sexually assaulting two unconscious women at a house party.

David Becker, 18, had been charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery in connection with the April 2 incident after a party in Palmer, reported MassLive.
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Palmer District Court Judge Thomas Estes on Aug. 15 ordered Becker’s case continued without a finding for two years, and he was sentenced Monday to two years of probation.

During that time, the former East Longmeadow High School student was ordered to avoid drugs and alcohol, submit to an evaluation for sex offender treatment and stay away from the two 18-year-old victims.

Becker, a three-sport athlete at the school, will be permitted to serve probation in Ohio, where he plans to attend college, and will not be required to register as a sex offender.

No conviction will appear on his record if he complies with the terms of his probation.

“He can now look forward to a productive life without being burdened with the stigma of having to register as a sex offender,” said his attorney, Thomas Rooke. “The goal of this sentence was not to impede this individual from graduating high school and to go onto the next step of his life, which is a college experience.”

A classmate told a school resource officer about a rumor circulating that a high school senior had assaulted two senior girls while they were intoxicated.

The victims told the resource officer they had been drinking while a classmate’s father was out of town but stayed to help Becker and the classmate clean up.

Police said the young women went to an upstairs bedroom, where they talked to Becker until they all three fell asleep.

The victims said they awoke to find Becker sexually assaulting them, and he apologized to one of the women by text message the following day.

Becker denied sexual contact with the other victim but said he believed his actions with the first woman had been acceptable because she didn’t stop him.

That woman said she had heard Becker had similarly assaulted other girls in the past—earning him the nickname “David the rapist.”

Becker’s attorney strongly denied both of those claims and accused the alleged victim of “unjust character assassination.”

Police found no evidence of previous sexual assaults, and one of the victims told the court that she did not believe jail time was necessary, and the judge closely followed the sentence recommended by Becker’s attorney.

“We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19 years old, and we shouldn’t be branded for life with a felony offense and branded a sex offender,” Rooke said. “Putting this kid in jail for two years would have destroyed this kid’s life.”

The sentence comes in the wake of two other controversial sentences for students convicted of sexual assault.

Brock Turner, a 20-year-old former star swimmer at Stanford University, was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a party in January 2015, and Judge Aaron Persky ignored prosecutors’ recommended six-year prison term and imposed only a six-month sentence with the possibility of three months off for good behavior.

Austin Wilkerson, a 22-year-old former student at the University of Colorado, admitted to sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman who had rejected his advances.

He was sentenced to two years in jail but will be permitted to leave during the day to work or attend school, and he was ordered to spend 20 years to life on probation.

Watch this video report posted online by WWLP:

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/judge-sets-aside-rape-charges-probation-so-ex-athlete-can-enjoy-college-experience

 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Aug, 2016 10:46 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Some judges are just stupid. It's too bad they gained that position in the first place.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2016 06:48 am
@bobsal u1553115,
I hardly have words to describe my take on this.
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2016 03:15 pm
@ossobucotemp,
I'm shocked. I can imagine this judge as tried a lot of rape cases, maybe they all need looking at.
cicerone imposter
 
  4  
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2016 03:27 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
I agree that this judge's rape cases needs to be reviewed. If he's been as lenient in other cases, he needs to be recalled.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2016 06:47 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Just a question.

Has anyone expressing outrage about this article made any attempt to look at the facts of the case or the reason that the court may have reached this decision?

I am not saying I agree with the judge. But, the willingness of people to jump to outraged conclusions after reading articles like this... with no attempt to understand the facts... worries me.

Be honest... did anyone here do any critical thinking before being outraged?
ossobucotemp
 
  3  
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2016 06:57 pm
@maxdancona,
I am a critic.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2016 07:04 pm
@ossobucotemp,
There is a difference between an angry mob and a judge.

Judges aren't perfect, but they have the advantage of looking at evidence, understanding law, hearing from both sides and considering the case in it's totality before making a decision.

These outrage stories don't change my belief in the importance of an independent judiciary.
ossobucotemp
 
  3  
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2016 07:22 pm
@maxdancona,
La de dah.
I've been, all this time in our arguing, listening, as I suppose vice versa.

Right now I am looking at lots of poor bubula, raped, desultory or unconscious women.
Independent judiciary? In what state or jurisdiction?
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 04:40 am
@maxdancona,
You aren't arguing its only bad because he was caught, are you? Or that if the longer he got away with it the less guilty he is? How about if he botches his college experience he goes to jail?
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 05:54 am

Stanford rape case judge removed from case
District attorney removes Judge Aaron Persky

By Ashley Fantz, Sara Sidner and Faith Karimi CNN

Published 06/16 2016 09:51PM

Updated 06/16 2016 05:34AM
Copyright 2016 Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

(CNN)

A California judge who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman has been removed as a possible judge on an unrelated sexual assault case.

Judge Aaron Persky of Santa Clara Superior Court sparked outrage this month over his sentence for Turner.

The fallout continued Tuesday when the Santa Clara County district attorney removed Persky from a different sexual assault case.

"After ... the recent turn of events, we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.

Twenty jurors refused to serve in Persky's courtroom Wednesday, citing the judge as a hardship, according to CNN affiliate KPIX-TV in San Francisco.

A prosecutor and the defense can opt to request another judge if they see fit. In such instances, a case is reassigned to a different judge.

In California, prosecutors or defense attorneys can "paper" a judge repeatedly on any case if they choose, said David LaBahn, president and CEO of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. It's possible that the attorney general could seek the judge's removal on future cases.

"This is a rare and carefully considered step for our office," Rosen said. "In the future, we will evaluate each case on its own merits and decide if we should use our legal right to ask for another judge in order to protect public safety and pursue justice."

Persky's critics are not limited to the courtroom.

Since his ruling in the Turner case, an online petition to remove him from the bench has attracted more than 1.2 million supporters. But removing a judge in California requires the support of the voters in his or her district.

Deputy DA: Persky made another unusual move

Persky's removal followed his dismissal of a jury in a misdemeanor theft case, said Jim Leonard, a Santa Clara supervising deputy district attorney.

This week, Persky was presiding over a jury trial in a misdemeanor stolen property case. The defendant was a passenger in a stolen car, Leonard said, when it was pulled over.

In her purse, police found two pieces of stolen mail, including promotional credit card checks, the deputy district attorney said. The mail had the name and address of two victims. Both testified they did not know the defendant, and one said that he had had trouble with packages and other items missing from his mailbox, Leonard said.

The defense brought a routine motion that basically asked whether a jury could deduce that there was evidence to support each element of the charges.

"The judge said, 'Yes I don't think a jury could conclude this is stolen property,'" Leonard said. "In the last 175 jury trials we've done on my team, this has only been granted twice, including this case. It's virtually never granted."

Persky dismissed the jury, he said.

"We were perplexed when he took this case away from the jury," Leonard said, adding that the only other time this defense motion has been granted was in a vandalism case in which a judge dismissed only one aspect of the case -- whether a "criminal threat" was present.

Under California penal code, Leonard cannot appeal Persky's ruling.

Sentence in Brock Turner case

In the Turner sexual assault case, the 20-year-old was convicted in March of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.

Though he could have received a maximum of 14 years in prison, prosecutors asked the judge to give Turner six years behind bars.

In California, judges are allowed wide discretion in sentencing.

On June 2, Persky chose to sentence Turner to six months in jail, followed by probation. Under the terms of his conviction, Turner must also register as a sex offender.

The assault

On January 18, 2015, law enforcement officers responded to a report of an unconscious female near a fraternity house, according to a sentencing memo.

At about 1 a.m. they found the victim on the ground in a fetal position behind a garbage bin. She was breathing but unresponsive. Her dress was pulled up to her waist. Her underwear was on the ground; her hair disheveled and covered with pine needles.

About 25 yards away, two passers-by had pinned down and restrained Turner.

"We found him on top of the girl!" one of the men said. Turner smelled of alcohol as he was handcuffed.

The letters

Letters written by the victim and the attacker's father added to the fury over Turner's sentencing.

In a 12-page victim impact statement addressed to Turner, the woman gave a harrowing description of her ordeal. The letter was widely shared online.

The victim implored Persky not to be lenient.

"My life has been on hold for over a year, a year of anger, anguish and uncertainty, until a jury of my peers rendered a judgment that validated the injustices I had endured," she wrote.

She told of going to a fraternity party near Stanford and drinking and then not knowing what happened to her between the time of the party and being conscious in a hospital with pine needles in her hair. She described the traumatic and humiliating experience of enduring an hours-long forensic exam for sexual assault

"I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.

"After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don't want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn't know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else."

Before sentencing, the attacker's father, Dan Turner, pleaded with the judge to go easy on his son.

He wrote that his son should not have to go to prison for "20 minutes of action."

That phrasing and much of Dan Turner's letter sparked outrage across social media.

The father then tried to clarify what he meant. "I was not referring to sexual activity by the word 'action,' " he said in a statement released by his son's attorney.

Since Turner was sentenced to less than a year, he is being held in the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose.

He is in protective custody with 1,100 others. Inmates convicted of sexual assault are held in protective custody to prevent other detainees from attacking them.

Copyright 2016 Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 06:00 am
Judge Who Sentenced Brock Turner Quits Criminal Court
The Huffington Post
- 7 hours 39 minutes ago

The California judge whose lenient rape sentence of former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner sparked national outrage has asked to quit presiding over criminal trials.

Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky will be reassigned to civil court in September at his request, according to a statement from the presiding judge first obtained byThe Mercury News .

“While I firmly believe in Judge Persky’s ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served,”

Presiding Judge Risë Jones Pichon said in the statement. “Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment.”

Persky has been the target of intense criticism and a recall campaign since June, when he sentenced Turner tosix months in jail for raping an unconscious woman on the Stanford campus.

The judge disregarded the prosecutor’s argument for a six-year prison term, saying, “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. He added: “I think he will not be a danger to others.” Turner will likely only serve three months.

Persky will continue to preside over criminal cases until next month. He recused himself from a new sex crimes case this week. His transfer will not be permanent. Judges are rotated every year, and he could transfer back to criminal court in the future.

The switch won’t affect a push for his recall in November 2017, according to a representative of the group Recall Judge Aaron Persky, led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber. “The issue of his judicial bias in favor of privileged defendants in sex crimes and domestic violence still needs to be addressed by the voters of Santa Clara County,” a statement emailed to The Huffington Post reads.

“In our opinion, Judge Persky is biased and should not be on the bench.” Persky’s sentencing of Turner was widely denounced. A juror on the panel that convicted Turner of three felony sex crimes said he was in “shock” by the light punishment.

“After the guilty verdict I expected that this case would serve as a very strong deterrent to on-campus assaults, but with the ridiculously lenient sentence that Brock Turner received, I am afraid that it makes a mockery of the whole trial and the ability of the justice system to protect victims of assault and rape,” a letter to Persky from the anonymous juror read.

Because of the outcry, California lawmakers are considering a bill that would impose minimum sentences for sexual assaults committed on an unconscious or severely intoxicated person.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 08:37 am
@bobsal u1553115,
No, I am not arguing any of those things.

I am arguing that we have a justice system with a judge who listens to all of the evidence and then makes a decision based on how he or she sees the facts of the case.

As in any judicial process where judges have leeway, some of the cases are going to be judged less harshly... some of the cases are going to be judged more harshly.

You are cherry picking a bunch of cases where judges were lenient toward rape victims. In all of the cases you are picking out the defendant/perpetuator are white and male.

In every case you are making assumptions about the case based on your political ideology rather than actually taking the time to learn about the evidence on the other side to make a rational, balanced decision.

You aren't actually looking in an unbiased way based on all of the evidence presented at trial before coming to your verdict. If you are going to call for the judge's head on a platter simply because he or she ruled in a way that you don't like, you should at least take the time to actually learn about the actual evidence on both sides of the case.

Judge's who always rule in favor of one side of a political ideology aren't very good for a democracy.


cicerone imposter
 
  4  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 12:19 pm
@maxdancona,
These are the facts from the case:
Quote:
A jury in March found Turner guilty of three felony sexual assault counts for the January 2015 attack, which was interrupted by two graduate students who saw him assaulting a partially clothed woman behind a trash bin. Turner tried to flee, but the students tackled and pinned him down until police arrived and arrested him.


FACT: It was a sexual assault. He was found guilty.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 05:55 pm
@cicerone imposter,
You realize that the discussion in this thread has had nothing to do with Brock Turner up to this point, right?

This was a thread about a guy named Becker. He was not found guilty.

cicerone imposter
 
  3  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 06:31 pm
@maxdancona,
The topic is rape, and the judgement made.
MikeyW
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 08:34 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I would bet money that the judge doesn't have a daughter, and if he does I'd put money that he got blackmailed
0 Replies
 
MikeyW
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2016 08:39 pm
@cicerone imposter,
What I'd like to know is why is he still allowed on the campus but they are letting him still be a student this is a God damn absurd way for a Judge to make a ruling If i was the Judge.. well I would have sent it over to the Grand Jury
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Aug, 2016 06:09 am
Stanford sex case judge accused of leniency toward another athlete

Source: San Jose Mercury News

PALO ALTO -- The judge who became a national pariah after handing a light sentence to a former Stanford athlete convicted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated, unconscious woman also mishandled a domestic violence case involving another athlete, critics said Friday.

Judge Aaron Persky, who is also the target of a Santa Clara County recall campaign, gave multiple breaks to Ikaika Gunderson, who was arrested in February 2015 and later pleaded no contest to felony domestic violence for beating up his ex-girlfriend.

A court spokesman said the administration and presiding judge declined to comment, adding that no one had had a chance to review the case file. Persky did not respond to a request for comment.

Criticism over the Gunderson case is the latest blow to the judge who had prospective jurors refuse to serve in his court and prosecutors seek a sex-case transfer after he agreed with a probation officer's recommendation and gave former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner just six months in jail for felony sexual assault. The court announced this week that Persky asked to be reassigned and will start handling civil cases rather than criminal Sept. 6.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_30294855/stanford-sex-case-judge-accused-leniency-toward-another
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Aug, 2016 06:10 am
@cicerone imposter,
Thank-you!!!!!!!
0 Replies
 
 

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