A 20-year-old man in California will spend four months in jail after raping his teenage sister while she was high on marijuana.
He was sentenced last week to three years, but received probation. He will only spend 240 days, at half time, behind bars in country jail, as a condition of his probation, according to a press release from the Del Norte District Attorney's Office.
The man’s 16-year-old sister repeatedly refused to have sex with him, so he gave her potent marijuana "dabs" to smoke until she no longer recognized him, according to the district attorney's office. He pleaded guilty to rape of an intoxicated person earlier this month.
Judge thought stigma of crime was enough
The prosecution wanted six years in state prison, but Judge William H. Follett said he thought that the stigma of the conviction, combined with him registering as a sex offender, would be enough to dissaude him from reoffending.
“The message that this sends to our community is that sexual predators who get their juvenile siblings stoned enough can have sex with them without any meaningful consequence. That is not the message I want to send to our community,” Del Norte District Attorney Dale P. Trigg said in the press release.
The Probation Department had recommended a six-year sentence, Deputy District Attorney Annamarie Padilla said.
After the high-profile case of Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, the law was changed so that similar crimes would be ineligible for probation, according to KRCR-TV. Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman and spent three months in jail.
"In a lot of ways, this case is more egregious than Brock Turner."
But Padilla said in the press release that the man in this case benefited because his crimes occurred before the law was changed.
"In a lot of ways, this case is more egregious than Brock Turner," said Trigg.
"This defendant took advantage of a position of trust as this victim’s big brother."
Victim was conscious, but still couldn't consent: DA
The judge argued that the legislative change didn't apply to the victim, who was conscious, but the district attorney said the new policy applied equally to a situation where a victim was intoxicated and couldn't consent.
Follett said that he was swayed by 18 letters of support for the defendant, according to the Del Norte Triplicate.
But he said the man wasn't getting off "scot free." After his jail sentence is over, the offender could still face three years in prison if he violates the terms of his probation. He also has to undergo sex offender treatment therapy, must stay away from alcohol and marijuana, and perform 140 hours of community service.