May 6th, 2014
10:23 PM ET

Will Judge Jeanine Howard discuss her stunning rape sentence?

Last night AC360 reported on the confessed rapist who was sentenced to 45 days in jail, five years probation and 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center. Judge Jeanine Howard told the Dallas Morning News that she based her ruling in part on the sexual history of the victim, who was just 14-years-old at the time. Judge Howard implied the girl was promiscuous, and wasn't the victim she claimed to be. Gary Tuchman spent the day trying to track down the judge.

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  1. crystalvictoria1

    What happens when a teenager makes a mistake and doesn’t know how to talk to their parents for fear of punishment? The teenager hides their feelings and the truth, and the parents assume it’s only growing pains. The rape case in Judge Jeanine Howard’s Court is an example what happens when irresponsible teenage sexual behavior meets unexpected consequences. Furthermore, it saddens me that no one noticed that a white female judge did not hang this young black male when it was in her power to do so. It is obvious that Judge Jeanine Howard treated these individuals as two teenagers and held her values and morals over the color of their skin.

    According to the Taubman Center for Public Policy's Statutory Rape Study, "Almost eight percent of defendants are at least four years older than their partners, and most defendants avoid prison entirely. Only thirty-seven percent were incarcerated on statutory rape charges." In Texas, statutory rape DOES NOT require that the prosecutor PROVE FORCE OR VIOLENCE. In addition, a defendant cannot rely on a mistake of age to avoid conviction. For adults, sexual relationships can be confusing and misunderstood. Imagine how much more so for teens. Teenage sex is irresponsible behavior which can lead to trouble. Feelings get hurt, and actions are taken due to a misunderstanding of love and teenage hormones. It is very important that parents educate their sons and daughters on the seriousness of this offense. No young man should graduate from high school and lose all chances of a future and a career due to a situation like this one. This young man did. That is punishment enough.

    Granted, some people want to judge the mother in this case for not paying attention to her daughter or her daughter’s needs. Like any parent, she is defensive because this is her baby and any parent will do all they can to protect their children. Then, we have people who want the young man to rot in jail, like a pedophile. This case involves two teenagers, a fourteen year old girl and an eighteen year old boy. For a moment, let’s remove the word “rape”. It is not rape when two teenagers are curious about sexual intercourse with each other and neither party is a virgin nor saying "no". It is irresponsible behavior, and no teen should be sentenced to jail for it, unless it is deadly or malicious. At the same time, let this be a lesson to young ladies of what can happen at fourteen years old when you decide to have three different unprotected sex partners and the truth comes out AFTER an examination from the hospital. The hospital records DID NOT SHOW forced rape signs or any signs of abuse. The young girl and boy had been dating for a while before this happened and someone else found out and reported it.

    What teens go through nowadays at school with social networking and texting would have made me suicidal. If I had to choose between being a “rape victim” who gets pity and the “school whore” who gets ostracized, I would’ve chosen the “rape victim”. I would’ve said anything to keep from being blasted around the World Wide Web via social networking as “the girl who is an easy lay”.

    Weren’t we all irresponsible teenagers at some point in our lives? What if we’d gotten jail time for every irresponsible silly thing we did or lies we told, as teenagers? In some cases, it was those silly things we did as teens, which made us wise and strong adults who are creating opportunities and making our world a better place.

    Lastly, how should our elected officials handle irresponsible teenage behavior? Should they ruin lives that haven’t really even started with incarceration? Or should they get to the bottom of the issue with facts, and address the teens as if they were judging their own children? There are enough incarcerated young black men, and locking all of them up making matters worse is not always the answer. Eventually, we’ll have to deal with those same men released on our streets and around our children. It’s time for rehabilitation and REAL intervention. Not taking our young men out of the picture temporarily via jail, but truly educating and reaching out to our young women and men who need our help. This case in particular needs the Spirit of the law and not the letter. It takes a village to raise a child, not a jail cell.

    We should petition against the media for not disclosing all of the facts and potentially ruining the reputation of a hard working elected official.

    May 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
  2. Emanuele Corso, PhD

    There is something about law school that dulls a person's sense of morality. Right and wrong and justice are replaced with an unrelenting belief that winning it what the law is all about.

    May 7, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • idefected

      Morality has left the majority of those with power. Those that retain some sence of morality seem to always be on the outside looking in.

      May 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm |

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