Two 13-year-old Tennessee boys who pled guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl were sentenced to just six months on probation.
The girl said it happened about a month ago. Two boys she thought were her friends held her down inside a home in Clarksville and raped her while filming it, according to Fox 17.
The teen told her parents about the horrific assault. Despite her fears, both of them did believe her and immediately went to the police.
“I just always thought it would be, you know, kids being mean, teasing or fighting, but not rape,” her mother told reporters.
Police investigated and found video evidence of the crime, which led to two boys pleading guilty in court.
However, the judge sentenced both of them to just six months of probation. One of the teens, who had a criminal history, is required to serve it while in the custody of the state, Fox 17 reported.
“They pleaded guilty and said, ‘Yes, I did this thing,’” the victim’s father said. “And then the sentencing guidelines mandate that they can go home.”
The assistant district attorney cited the Juvenile Reform Act in an email to the victim’s family. The law protects juvenile sex offenders from prosecution to the fullest extent. Neither of the boys will be placed on a sex offender registry or serve prison time because they are under 14-years-old.
“All of them [the police] did absolutely fantastic work until it came down to the moment where we were going to get something back by knowing that they would have at least some sort of punishment for the things they did to my daughter, and it couldn’t happen because of the way the law is written,” her dad commented.
However, an incensed local state representative Jason Hodges said the existing law cannot stand, and noted that he is working to change the law.
One of two bills would allow juveniles 13 years and younger to be charged as an adult in the case of rape. The second would place them on the sex offender’s registry at a judge’s discretion.
“Obviously, as a father, I was disgusted, and as a citizen of that community, I was disgusted,” Hodges concluded. “You know rape is obviously a serious offense and whether you’re 13 or 30 you should know better.”