Society
Society

Judge Sentences Rapist to Do Community Service at Rape Crisis Center

| by Jonathan Wolfe

The Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center has a clear message for the judge who sentenced a convicted rapist to perform community service at the center: thanks, but no thanks.

Bobbie Villareal, the executive director of the center, says she told the probation officer of convicted rapist Sir Young that Young is not welcome to volunteer at the center.

“I’m sure she probably thought that it was his way of giving back perhaps. But it’s just not an appropriate place for him to do his community supervision,” Villareal said.

Young was sentenced to perform community service at the center by Judge Jeanine Howard. Howard is reportedly known for her creative, unconventional sentencings. But this time, Villareal says, the judge took it too far.

“There’s just so many problems with that,” Villareal said. “First of all, we would worry about our client safety and well-being, the appropriateness of them having any kind of contact with survivors — even if it was a past victimization. Just having a criminal defendant in the office could be a triggering effect for many of our clients."

Dallas news station WFAA reached out to Howard for comment, but the judge was unavailable. The station did reach her court coordinator, though, who told them Howard is currently reworking the conditions of Young’s probation.

“The judge and the probation department are modifying his conditions,” the coordinator said. “They’re working on it right now. They’re going to come up with a different order for him to do his community service somewhere else.”

Villareal also takes issue with the lenient sentence issued to Young. Young was convicted of raping a fellow high school student in 2011. He was sentenced to just 45 days in jail and given a five years’ deferred adjudication probation, which means his conviction will be wiped from his record after his probation term is served.

“It is a deterrent to all survivors when you see a very lenient sentence like this passed down,” Villareal said. “It sends a devastating message to survivors of sexual assault. That victim’s family definitely didn’t feel like there was justice for her and for other survivors of sexual assault.”

Sources: WFAA, UPI