Two 13-year-old boys who pled guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl in Clarksville, Tennessee, were sentenced to just six months on probation recently.
The girl said about a month ago that two boys who she thought were her friends held her down inside her own home and raped her while filming it.
“I didn’t want to say, because I was afraid nobody’s gonna believe me,” she told reporters.
Despite her fears, both of the girl’s parents did believe her when she told them about the horrific assault.
“I just always thought it would be, you know, kids being mean, teasing or fighting, but not rape,” the victim’s mother said.
Police investigated and found video evidence of the crime which led to both boys pleading guilty in court.
However, the judge sentenced both of them to just six months on probation. One of the teens, who already has a criminal history, is required to serve it while in state custody.
“They pleaded guilty and said, ‘Yes, I did this thing,’ and then the sentencing guidelines mandate that they can go home,” the girl’s father said.
In an email to the victim’s family, the assistant district attorney cited the Juvenile Reform Act which protects juveniles from more severe sentencing. Neither of the boys will be required to serve prison time or register as sex offenders 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, Tennessee state representative Jason Hodges said the existing law cannot stand, and noted that he is currently working on two bills to make the proposed changes a reality.
One of the bills would allow juveniles 13 years and younger to be charged as an adult for rape and 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. You know rape is obviously a serious offense and whether you’re 13 or 30 you should know better,” Hodges concluded.