Wednesday, October 17, 2018


"Only his first rape"

I'm used to some staggering sentences coming out of Waco. Usually, they are staggeringly long, and given to black and Latino defendants who are involved in drug or sex assault cases.

This one is different-- a white college fraternity president from Baylor was charged with four counts of sexual assault. He was given a staggeringly sweet plea deal: A $400 fine and three years of what the Waco Tribune Herald called "deferred probation" (and I assume to be deferred adjudication, where the defendant serves probation and then the case is dismissed upon successful completion).

Here is what the Waco Trib had to say, quoting the victim of the alleged crime and then discussing the actions of prosecutor Hillary LaBorde:

“This guy violently raped me multiple times, choked me and when I blacked out, he dumped me face down on the ground and left me to die,” the woman’s email states. “When I woke up aspirating on my own vomit, my friends immediately took me to the hospital and we reported it to the Waco police, Baylor police and Title IX office.”
She said in a statement from the family Saturday that she did everything authorities tell sexual assault victims to do. Yet she and her family feel slighted by the efforts of the DA’s office, she said....
According to the statement, LaBorde told the woman and her family about a sexual assault case LaBorde lost involving college students. But the family and their attorney, Feazell, said the facts are “completely different.”
“Hilary told us she does not think a jury in Waco is ready to convict someone if this was only his first rape,” the statement reads.

I am working with a young man with a very low IQ who was plea bargained by his court appointed attorney to accept ten year probation on two counts of rape of the woman who was living with him for months in a house with him, his mother, and his sister. One bedroom house, with only a curtain between the couple and his mother. Reportedly having sex every night. Attorney did not interview sister or mother of his client, and advised accepting first plea bargain offered by the ADA. His only income is SSI, and his child support and probation fees are greater than his income. I am trying to get the Texas Innocence Project to help with this. I do not have criminal law experience as an attorney, and my relationship with him is limited to representing him WRT his child support obligation.
It won't solve the problem, but I'd say there needs to be some serious civil disobedience in Waco, or at Baylor as a start. All women walk out? Silent protest in front of this guy's attorney's office? in front of courthouse? Good God.
Just like the white Stanford swimmer who got a ridiculously low sentence for rape, although there I think the judge was recalled?
How would those jurors feel if it was their daughter of wife. I am deeply disappointed in the human race this week.

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