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article imageThe Austin Clem rape controversy continues

By Alexander Baron     Jan 2, 2014 in Crime
Athens - Austin Clem was given a non-custodial sentence for the rape of a 13 year old girl. After the District Attorney appealed, the same judge resentenced him.
The conviction and sentencing of Austin Clem was reported here in November. The leniency of this sentence is based on a misconception, one which is unforgivable for anyone who has any legal training, especially a judge.
According to the Mother Jones website, Clem and his victim Courtney Andrews had a consensual relationship, but an underage girl cannot give consent, by law.
This sort of thing can get complicated. In the UK, a 16 year old boy who has sex with his 15 year old girlfriend will probably not face criminal charges because there are special provisions when both parties are under or close to the age of consent. Clem is 5 years older than Miss Andrews, which means that he was only 18 when the first offence was committed. This is the only mitigation he has. Miss Andrews waived her anonymity due to the way the case has been mishandled. For those interested in the background, the District Attorney's petition against what he sees as an overly lenient sentence has been made public. Now, the same judge has resentenced Clem, and has given him essentially the same sentence. On the face of it, it seems extraordinary that Judge James Woodruff has not been recused from the case.
The sentence handed down to Clem is in stark contrast to the one imposed on Michelle Lyn Taylor for an offence that most people would consider warranted a slap on the wrist at worst.
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