An elderly Stockton, California businessman has been sentenced to 90 days’ house arrest after pleading no-contest to raping the five-year-old daughter of family friends.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Lyle Burgess, who’s 79-years-old, was also placed on five-years’ probation and is not required to register as a sex offender.
The light sentence for child statutory rape was met with disbelief:
— Sarah Ann Masse (@SarahAnnMasse) May 25, 2018
Family attorney, Ken Meleyco, told KTXL-TV that “the girl is not doing good” since the alleged 2016 rape because “she’s showing all the symptoms of somebody who’s been molested. She’s gonna be in counseling all her life.” He also claimed that Burgess received the comparatively light sentence because “wealthy people, time and time again, escape the penalty for what they did.”
The Bee reports that the sentence was agreed to by prosecutors and approved by the family, but blame was heaped on the judge who told the court that he was “somewhat limited” in changing a negotiated sentence:
— Ryan Thomas Johnson (@rythojo) May 25, 2018
Burgess’s attorney claims that the elderly man maintains his innocence and believes the girl’s family was motivated by greed. The family is also suing the owner of Rare Parts, Inc., an auto part manufacturing company, in civil court.
There hasn’t been this much outrage at a sentence since Stanford University student Brock Turner was sentenced to only six months in prison after being found guilty of raping a drunk female student. The judge in that case, Aaron Persky, is the target of a recall campaign in California’s June primary election.
But California’s outrage may be somewhat self-inflicted. Since 2011, California criminal penalties have been eased by the state legislature and the voters themselves in order to reduce prison overcrowding.
That has meant higher crime rates.
In 2017, Whittier police officer Keith Boyer was murdered by a gang member who had released from prison under the newer, more lax laws:
— Nielsen Training (@NielsenTraining) February 21, 2017
A gobsmacking array of crimes are no longer considered “violent” – including child sex trafficking, rape of a drunk person, bombing people and assaulting a police officer. The Washington Post called Proposition 47 a “virtual get out of jail free card.”
California’s lax laws are so notorious that a drunk young woman who livestreamed the car crash that killed her sister bragged to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy that the new laws would “cut her time in half.”
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