Judge Gives No Jail Time to Rapist

As reported in Mother Jones by Molly Redden (complete article here), an Alabama man by the name of Austin Smith Clem who was convicted of raping a teenage girl will serve no prison time. On Wednesday, Judge James Woodroof 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 2013, 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.

Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof sentenced Clem to 10 years in prison for each of the second-degree rape charges and 20 years for first-degree rape. But Woodroof structured the sentence in such a way that Clem will only be hit with community corrections and probation. Clem will have to register as a sex offender and pay fines and restitution—a total of $2,381, according to the sentencing document provided to Mother Jones—but he will not serve jail time unless he violates the terms of his sentencing.

If you want to tell this judge what you think, here’s his contact info: http://www.limestonecounty-al.gov/LC_Circuit_Judges.html