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Teen charged with rape got probation so he could have a 'college experience'


The goal of this sentence was not to impede this individual from ... the next step of his life, which is a college experience.
Becker's attorney Thomas Rooke

David Becker was charged with raping two unconscious women in Massachusetts in April. He admitted to raping one of them, and even texted her an apology.

On Monday, he was sentenced to two years of probation.

Wait, what?

Becker was technically not found guilty, but "continued without a finding." Effectively, the ruling means the prosecution has enough evidence to find the defendant guilty, but the defendant is put on probation instead.

If the defendant violates probation, he or she could be found guilty instead, according to Urbellis Law.

Otherwise, no conviction will appear on his record. 

The case

The victims said they had been drinking at a classmate's house, but stayed with Becker to help clean up. The women ended up in a bedroom, where they talked to Becker as they fell asleep. They woke up to him sexually assaulting one of them, Raw Story reports.

One of the victims said Becker had a history of sexual assault, so much that he was nicknamed "David the rapist."

But his lawyer said it was just "character assassination."

We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19 years old, and we shouldn't be branded for life with a felony offense and branded a sex offender.
Thomas Rooke

Becker's lawyer argued that "jail for two years would have destroyed this kid's life." 

This course of argument sounds familiar.

brock turner mug.jpg
This January 2015 booking photo released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office shows Brock Turner. The former Stanford University swimmer was sentenced last week to six months in jail and three years' probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, sparking outrage from critics who say Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky was too lenient on a privileged athlete from a top-tier swimming program. (Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Brock Turner, a former Stanford swimmer, was sentenced to six months in prison that could be reduced to three months with good behavior. (Becker was also an athlete, Raw Story reports.) 

austin wilkerson.jpg

Austin Wilkerson, a former Colorado University student, was charged with rape and was sentenced to two years in jail in August, but is allowed to leave during the day to go to school, Daily Camera reports.


And in 2013, four Vanderbilt University students were charged with raping an unconscious woman. The only one sentenced so far, Corey Batey, faces 15 years. Batey is black; his white teammate Brandon Vandenburg's sentencing was delayed.

Do race and class affect judges' sentences?

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