The 14-year-old Somali refugee who raped two Utah women in 2011 has been sentenced to five years of probation, avoiding more jail time in an adult penitentiary.
Mohammed Ali Mohammed, now 20, pleaded guilty to rape, sexual assault and kidnapping charges in 2012, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. He served six years in a secure juvenile detention facility.
"I was a monster," Mohammed said before the district court Nov. 28. “I didn’t know what I was thinking. I was a very stupid kid."
At 14, Mohammed sexually assaulted two women at knife point on two consecutive nights. He attacked the first woman while she was standing outside her home. The following night, he broke into the second woman's home and assaulted her before demanding she go to an ATM and withdraw $400.
Now, Mohammed wants to show the court -- and the two women -- that he's a different man.
"There is nothing that I could say or do that could restore what I did to them," he said. "The only way I can show them I’ve changed is how I live my life."
Mohammed is only a month away from turning 21, which means that he will age out of the juvenile system. Judge Vernice Trease had the choice to either sentence him to more jail time in an adult penitentiary or let him off with probation.
She chose the latter, saddling him with a strict probation sentence that requires ankle monitoring and weekly check-ins with the court and his probation officer. He is also prohibited from using the internet.
Trease warned that if Mohammed violated his probation in any way, she "won’t bat an eye" in sending him back to jail.
"I won’t let you down," Mohammed told her.
But the sentence comes as a letdown to the two victims, who previously asked for Mohammed to receive the strictest sentence the judge could possibly impose.
One victim said that she is "terrified" at the thought that Mohammed will be back on the streets. She says that she still suffers from flashbacks every day.
"He did adult crimes," she said, “and should have an adult sentence to match what he did.”
The other victim was not in court, and prosecutor Coral Sanchez-Rose said that her client's life simply fell apart after the assault, according to the Daily Mail.
The woman, who was a promising college student at the time of the assault, has since fallen into drug use and has had trouble with the law. In 2012, she begged the court to sentence Mohammed to an adult prison, saying that he was "getting away with less than he deserves."
Since then, she has disappeared and the prosecution has been unable to reach her.
"We just lost track of her," Sanchez-Rose said. "I don't know if she's homeless, I don't know where she's staying at; we're unable to contact her. Clearly, this has had a great impact in her life."
Mohammed was born in a Somali refugee camp in Yemen, where he saw his brother murdered before his eyes. He also said that he was sexually abused himself.
Volunteers at the Wasatch Youth Center say that Mohammed has changed since 2011, and has been a role model for the other inmates in his unit.
"I would trust him with my life," said Robert Crawford, who volunteers at the detention center with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "We want to continue to help him. We will do everything in our power to help this young man."