In a case that echoes Brock Turner’s ruling to be released from jail after only three months behind bars for raping an unconscious woman, an Idaho judge just sentenced a high school football player to only three years of probation and 300 hours of community service after prosecutors said he took part in a locker room sexual assault on a black football player. District Court Judge Randy Stoker gave John R.K. Howard a slap on the wrist for raping a black teammate on his football team with a coat hanger, the Associated Press reports.
Stoker granted a withheld judgment, so Howard’s conviction could be eventually dismissed.
Howard was originally charged with sexually assaulting his teammate, but plead down to a modified guilty plea, acknowledging he’d be found guilty in a trial while refusing to admit his guilt.
Howard’s attorney, Brad Calbo, alleged that rape and racism weren’t involved in the assault, then he accused the victim’s family of fabricating the claims for money.
“The racist stuff, it’s not there,” Calbo said. “They’re absurd allegations … this has all been blown out of proportion for the pursuit of money.”
Howard allegedly kicked the hanger into the victim and the accused said he did not intentionally kick the coat hanger. I suppose while a teammate is being assaulted, we’re supposed to believe that he accidentally sodomized the victim. Sounds legit! It’s not clear from witnesses how the assault occurred.
Calbo noted a statement the victim gave to recant his original accounts of the assault. According to investigations, the victim was under pressure from other students who told him, “they were going to lose their farms if the civil suit kept going and the town would fall apart,” documents state.
In the recording where the victim recants, students and teammates can be heard telling the victim they love him and he needs to tell the truth.
“All that stuff, I just made up,” the victim said of the recording. “I just started telling a bunch of just lies because I wanted my friends back.”
The white defendant was the only one accused whose criminal case was handled in adult court. Two others faced charges in closed juvenile court; one of them has pleaded guilty to the charges.
According to the AP, the victim’s family has sued the school district for $10 million in damages, stating the assault was the culmination of months of racist taunts and physical abuse at the high school. The lawsuit is still pending.
The victim is mentally disabled and has been allegedly bullied both racially and physically at the school.