UNBELIEVABLE … Limestone County, AL Judge James Woodroof Suspended Sentence of Austin Clem Convicted of Forcible & 2nd Degree Rape from 20 Years to No Prison Time Sentence
If there was ever a story that needed to be categorized as WTF, it is the following one …
JUSTICE? 25 year old Austin Clem had been previously convicted raping a minor Courtney Andrews. The abuse started when she was 13, saying she kept quiet for years because of threats at the hands of her rapist. Clem had sexually abused her at age 13, then raped her twice at age 14 and once at age 18. Austin Clem now faced the sentencing for his crimes, or so everyone thought. Initially, Limestone County, Alabama Judge James Woodroof handed down a jail terms of 20 years for forcible rape and 10 years each for two second-degree rape charges to run concurrently. Then Judge James Woodroof did the unthinkable. The judge suspended those sentences and instead gave Clem three community corrections sentences of two years plus three years of supervised probation, to be carried out concurrently. Austin Clem must register as a sex offender, but if he follows all the ridiculous suspended sentence guidelines, this rapist will stay out of prison. According to reports at CNN, not only was the victim stunned, so to was the rapist’s defense attorney.
I’m still baffled,” the victim, Courtney Andrews, told CNN. She came forward publicly to express her outrage over Wednesday’s sentencing. “I don’t know how any of this is possible.”
The defense for Austin Clem, 25, was also caught off guard at first.
“Frankly, I think the judge’s sentence was surprising to most everyone in the courtroom,” said Clem’s attorney, Dan Totten.
What the hell was this judge thinking, suspending a sentence from 20 years to 6 years probation and no prison time for forcible and two counts of 2nd degree rape? UNREAL!!! Get this, the lawyer for Clem is actually considering appealing the conviction. It’s not bad enough this POS does not have to serve time in prison, he is whining that the slap on the wrist given is like house arrest. Poor baby.
The lawyer says Clem is considering an appeal on the conviction. He has 30 days from the sentencing to do so.
As the sentence stands, the requirements for community corrections are so stringent that they are in effect a form of house arrest, Totten said.
“It sets a bar so high, I don’t know of a lot of people who could abide by these limitations,” he said.
The county’s district attorney, Brian Jones is “reviewing available options to set aside this sentence and to achieve a sentence that gives justice to our victim.”