Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Ala. judge again rules that man convicted in series of rapes doesn't have to serve prison time
Fox News ^ | AP

Posted on 01/01/2014 12:30:28 PM PST by Innovative

A north Alabama man convicted in a series of rapes has again avoided a prison sentence for the assaults.

Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof suspended a 35-year sentence for Austin Clem and ordered him to spend five years on probation for a series of assaults on a former neighbor.

Clem was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman three times. Prosecutors say the assaults began seven years ago when the victim was 13.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: alabama; crime; judgejameswoodroof; judges; nojail; rape; ruling; woodroof
Judge James Woodroof
1 posted on 01/01/2014 12:30:28 PM PST by Innovative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Innovative

The insane are running the asylum folks
Freegards
LEX


2 posted on 01/01/2014 12:34:19 PM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lexington minuteman 1775

“The insane are running the asylum folks”

It’s even worse than that — criminal sympathizers are sitting as judges...


3 posted on 01/01/2014 12:38:30 PM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

Hang him, he serves no time, everybody is happy (I think, I may be bad counting and comprehending that whole ‘everybody’ thing)


4 posted on 01/01/2014 12:39:28 PM PST by Moose Burger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

Very uninformative article.

A well-written article would have summarized the judge’s reasoning behind this sentence. This is assuming such reasoning was included in the verdict, which is possibly an unjustified assumption.

Without an explanation of his rationale, this is simply a “gotcha” article for the judge and the convicted, providing only one side of an issue that MAY be more complex.


5 posted on 01/01/2014 12:43:03 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moose Burger

Don’t forget the judge.


6 posted on 01/01/2014 12:44:10 PM PST by Antihero101607
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

I did some checking, and apparently somehow the perp here is eligible for a non-violent offenders program that, if I read it correctly, redirects offenders not likely to repeat their offenses to probation and supervision. How this guy managed to qualify for *that* is beyond me.

Also, I found a very good recap of the story over at Mother Jones, and a blog that has some useful info:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/alabama-man-no-prison-time-raping-teenager

http://thecontextofthings.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/we-are-disgusted-the-austin-smith-clem-story-takes-another-turn/

What a mess.


7 posted on 01/01/2014 12:45:35 PM PST by DemforBush (Ice cream, Mandrake? Children's ice cream?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

There doesn’t seem to be any extenuating circumstances, only a rapist-sympathizing judge. The man was found guilty by a jury

From another article:

“As ordered by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, Circuit Judge James Woodroof Jr. agreed to resentence Austin Smith Clem on first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree rape.

“Woodroof filed his revised order Monday, giving Clem 15 years for first-degree rape and two 10-year sentences for second-degree rape — a total of 35 years. However, the judge suspended the prison time and gave Clem credit for time already served in the county jail — 66 days. He also ordered Clem to serve 5 years of supervised probation on each count of rape. If he violates the terms of probation, the judge could reinstate the 35 years of prison time. Clem was also ordered to register as a convicted sex offender, pay $1,631 in restitution and a $750 bail bond fee. He must also maintain a job, complete counseling, have no contact with the victim or her family, pay court-ordered fees related to probation and comply with the other conditions of his probation order. The revised sentence reduces Clem’s sentence on first-degree rape from 20 to 15 years in prison, which the district attorney immediately opposed. -

http://www.enewscourier.com/local/x1956139693/BREAKING-Limestone-judge-again-gives-rapist-no-more-jail-time-D-A-appeals


8 posted on 01/01/2014 12:49:11 PM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DemforBush
Thanks for the links.

"You didn't hear the evidence," Totten says. "The original allegation was that both of these crimes were forcible. But then you have to believe that although she was forcibly raped twice, she continued to come back and have a social relationship with Austin Clem and his family—until he told her that he was going back to his wife and child and would not have a relationship with her. And a week later he was charged. There's always two sides to the story."

The girl was 13 when the first two rapes occurred, which as I understand the law means it doesn't matter whether the sex was consensual or not.

The reasoning above would seem to be more suited for the trial phase, whether he was actually guilty of rape or not, rather than the sentencing phase.

The jury already decided guilt or innocence. The judge isn't supposed to then issue a lenient sentence because he seems to think the convicted isn't "really" guilty of the charge.

9 posted on 01/01/2014 12:51:43 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

Clem was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman three times. Prosecutors say the assaults began seven years ago when the victim was 13.

The only alternative for him serving prison time should be hanging till dead...


10 posted on 01/01/2014 12:54:10 PM PST by GraceG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

Very strange story. The programs he put the guy into are apparently for “non-violent offenders,” which wouldn’t seem to be appropriate for someone convicted of three counts of rape.

Maybe the judge thinks it wasn’t “rape-rape.” But under the law that’s the jury’s job to decide, not the judge’s.


11 posted on 01/01/2014 12:55:01 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Moose Burger

Are you suggesting that the judge be hanged or the perp?


12 posted on 01/01/2014 12:55:41 PM PST by donmeaker (A man can go anywhere on earth, and where man can go, he can drag a cannon.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

“Clem was convicted in a series of attacks on a former neighbor that began when the now 20-year-old woman was 13.

Jurors found Clem guilty in September. The jury foreman has said he and other jurors expected Clem to serve some time in prison.”

http://www.ctpost.com/news/crime/article/Ala-prosecutor-again-challenges-rapist-s-sentence-5104991.php

The jurors found him guilty, but the judge did the sentencing, basically letting the child rapist go free.


13 posted on 01/01/2014 12:55:49 PM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Innovative
seven years ago when the victim was 13.

Seven years ago so he was only 17-18 himself.
14 posted on 01/01/2014 1:08:43 PM PST by conservative98
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lexington minuteman 1775

Where are the Good Ole Boys of Alabama?

They would have dealt with this Rapist Scum.


15 posted on 01/01/2014 1:12:16 PM PST by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Innovative
This kind of thwarting of the legal system by a judge is becoming all too common, and it seems to always be a judge allowing some creep accused of rape or child molestation to walk free. Like many, I'm sick of it. This Circuit Court judge needs to be held accountable for putting a convicted child rapist back into the community. Too bad if Judge Woodroof thinks the convicted man didn't 'really' commit rape, he is obligated to follow the law in sentencing, not find loopholes to use to enable him to allow a convicted rapist to avoid going to jail, as he should.

Perhaps these softhearted judges saw Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and his pretense that the fees for not having health care insurance were 'really' taxes and thus constitutional. Making ObamaCare legal even though it takes away freedom from American citizens and allows the almighty government to dictate not only that we purchase health care insurance but what that insurance will cover and of course, the coming rationing of health care that is inevitable. But I digress.

This judge (Woodroof) is unfit for the bench if this is the kind of workaround he uses to help a convicted felon avoid serving jail time for raping a minor.

16 posted on 01/01/2014 1:12:23 PM PST by Jim Scott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: conservative98; Sherman Logan

I would like to refer you to Sherman Logan’s post 11 — he sums it up quite well:

“The girl was 13 when the first two rapes occurred, which as I understand the law means it doesn’t matter whether the sex was consensual or not.

The reasoning above would seem to be more suited for the trial phase, whether he was actually guilty of rape or not, rather than the sentencing phase.

The jury already decided guilt or innocence. The judge isn’t supposed to then issue a lenient sentence because he seems to think the convicted isn’t “really” guilty of the charge. “


17 posted on 01/01/2014 1:13:23 PM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: conservative98; Sherman Logan

I should have said post 9 and 11 by Sherman Logan


18 posted on 01/01/2014 1:15:02 PM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

Who is Clem related to? Must have ties to someone locally powerful.


19 posted on 01/01/2014 1:17:35 PM PST by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

Thank you, thank you very much.


20 posted on 01/01/2014 1:18:25 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

These judges need to be removed from the bench or locked in a prison.


21 posted on 01/01/2014 1:19:56 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

I hope that woman gets a gun and learns how to use it.


22 posted on 01/01/2014 1:20:25 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PAR35

Looks like the Clem family has a lawyer, tire stores, a trailer park, a cabinet company, and several other local businesses. Looks like I’m on the right track.


23 posted on 01/01/2014 1:20:55 PM PST by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

The girl should find this guy and shoot him dead. See what a jury thinks about that.


24 posted on 01/01/2014 1:22:34 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PAR35

Apparently, also a childhood friend of the judge.


25 posted on 01/01/2014 2:11:44 PM PST by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with brute force, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Innovative
Never, ever trust the words of the journalism major who changes important terms and labels and quotes to fit in their agenda, their given space, and their personal vocabulary.

Clearly something is going on here, and none of the half-information given in any of the sources peppered into this thread help much to give the full picture.

26 posted on 01/01/2014 2:17:31 PM PST by Teacher317 (We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Innovative
The jury already decided guilt or innocence. The judge isn’t supposed to then issue a lenient sentence because he seems to think the convicted isn’t “really” guilty of the charge.“

Actually, most judges explicitly DO have this power. Abbreviated JNOV, the "Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict" is allowed in most US states. Clever lawyers can use and mislead juries very easily, and it is left to the judge to be the last stop-gap against that very problematic and unjust possibility.

27 posted on 01/01/2014 2:20:58 PM PST by Teacher317 (We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Here is a much more informative article.

http://www.enewscourier.com/local/x1050743937/Victim-is-baffled-by-rapist-s-sentencing

Nothing in it helps. The judge is suspect, the sentence appears to violate Alabama code and the DA is looking into an appeal.

To top it all off, the perp has a juvy record for sex crimes against children of both genders and has already been through a similar program once.

This guy should have been given a lot of jail time, he is a repeat offender.


28 posted on 01/01/2014 2:25:55 PM PST by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with brute force, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

Frankfurt School agenda point 8 of 11 - to make western civilization stink:

8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime


29 posted on 01/01/2014 2:33:40 PM PST by CharlesOConnell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

> ordered him to spend five years on probation... Clem was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman three times. Prosecutors say the assaults began seven years ago when the victim was 13.

Sure would be a shame if the rapist and the judge were found with the heads switched.

Thanks Innovative.


30 posted on 01/01/2014 3:01:48 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: DemforBush

Can’t really trust Mother Jones.


31 posted on 01/01/2014 3:09:55 PM PST by ifinnegan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

The judge changed a 35 year sentence to probation? Did he give an explanation? Alabama must be one of the Southern states that is going far left.


32 posted on 01/01/2014 7:52:50 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Innovative

We are not talking about an 18 year old having consensual sex with his gal from high school. This is a 13 year old.


33 posted on 01/01/2014 9:32:52 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson