In the freezing cold, a group of four men and teenage boys drugged and gang raped a 14-year-old girl leaving her unconscious with a frighteningly low body temperature. A 15-year-old girl filmed the rape, giving the young men instructions. They were tried in court last week and charged as guilty for the crime, Independent reported.
When the young teen’s body was discovered after being raped, she was immediately taken into a nearby hospital’s intensive care, where she was treated for hypothermia.
According to The Local, only one of the accused, a 21-year-old, will go to jail for four years as an adult. The other three members of the gang, who are as young as 14, will not step foot inside prison, according to the recent judgment.
Despite receiving one to two year suspended sentences last week in court, this week, state prosecutors decided to appeal several of these rulings. Although the case could have also been tried as attempted murder, it appears that aspect of the case also slipped through the justice system.
The lead judge presiding over the case acknowledged that the “sentences may seem mild to the public.” The Local reported that the judge explained his decision, citing that although the girl had been “thrown away like garbage,” the offenders seemed to be remorseful for their actions and could therefore receive “education” instead of time in juvenile hall.
An online petition stated, “The sexual self-determination and integrity of a woman must have more weight here than concerns for the perpetrators.” The petition, which seeks a review of the judge’s decision, has garnered more than 80,100 signatures since it was posted.
The case offers an even more disturbing example of lenient sentencing for accused rapists than that of Judge Aaron Persky, who is presently under fire for doling out short sentences to privileged men who commit rape and other crimes against women.
Moreover, the well-being of the 14-year-old girl should take precedent over the lead judge's consideration to not taint the rapists’ futures with time in custody.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters