Two Tennessee boys who pleaded guilty to raping a teen girl will serve six months’ worth of probation each, a judge ruled earlier this week.
FOX 17 spoke with the victim, who said she was in court when two 13-year-old boys left the courtroom with their parents, with a smile on their face after learning they would only serve probation for brutally raping her at a home in the Clarksville area. Her family now wants to bring awareness to the situation and help to change laws.
“I got raped,” the teen told the outlet. “I don’t really know what I’m comfortable saying.”
The girl, who was referred to as “C,” said she thought the boys were her friends. Yet, last month, they held her down and recorded themselves raping her. C told her parents and they immediately went to the police. The teen’s father said authorities told him to allow them to handle the case.
After investigations, authorities found video evidence. The two boys were arrested and charged with rape, but a law known as the Juvenile Justice Reform Act kept them from getting lengthy sentences.
According to the Tennessee State Courts, the Act aims to “make Tennessee’s juvenile justice system more effective, improve outcomes for youth offenders, and increase public safety.”
“All of them 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,” the girl’s father said.
One of the defendants already had a criminal past. He’s required to report to a juvenile detention center, where he will serve out his six months of probation for the rape. He was convicted of “Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in violation of TCA 39-17-1005.”
The other defendant, who didn’t yet have a criminal record, was given six months of probation to be carried out while living at home with his parents. He was convicted of “Aggravated Rape in violation of TCA 39-13-502.”
“The 13-year-old child that holds a girl down and rapes her with his friend needs to be on that registry. People need to know that he’s a sex offender.” Rep. Hodges
Since both boys are under 14, they won’t have to register as sex offenders.
“They pleaded guilty and said, ‘Yes, I did this thing, and then the sentencing guidelines mandate that they can go home,” C’s father added.
When State Representative Jason Hodges learned about what happened to C, he said he wanted to help change laws. He’s currently working on two bills.
One bill would ensure people 13 years and younger to be charged as an adult if rape is committed, and the other bill would make them register as sex offenders.
“Obviously, as a father, I was disgusted, and as a citizen of that community, I was disgusted. You know, rape is obviously a serious offense, and whether you’re 13 or 30 you should know better,” Hodges said.
Meanwhile, C has a difficult time talking about what happened to her. At first, she was afraid no one would believe her. Her parents, who believed her right away, were shocked that boys who called themselves friends could carry out such a disgusting act.
“I just always thought it would be, you know, kids being mean,” C’s mother told FOX 17. “Teasing or fighting, but not rape.”
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]