Two 13-year-olds convicted of raping Tennessee teen only get 6 months probation

 Imagine facing your rapist in court as they plead guilty, then watching them smile as they get to go home with their parents. That's what a 15-year-old Clarksville girl says happened to her after she was held down by two 13-year-old boys as they raped her and filmed it.
Now, the victim, her family, and a state representative are working to make sure other victims get more justice.
The brave young girl featured in this story has gone through a nightmare unimaginable to some. We’re not going to identify her because she is a sexual assault victim. Instead, we’ll refer to her as “C.”
C told FOX 17 she wants to share her story to try and raise awareness and help other victims.
Her words come out as barely a whisper.
“I got raped,” she says.
FOX 17 reporter Kathleen Jacob asks her only to say what she’s comfortable saying.
“I don't really know what I'm comfortable saying,” C replies.
She has a hard time talking about what happened about a month ago. Two 13-year-old boys she thought were friends, held her down in a home as they raped her and filmed it.

“I didn't want to say, because I was afraid nobody's gonna believe me,” C said.
However, her parents did believe her, as much as they wished it weren't true.
“I just always thought it would be, you know, kids being mean, teasing or fighting, but not rape,” her tearful mother said.
They immediately went to police and reported the rape.
“The only thing I really recall the police saying to me was essentially begging me to let them handle it,” C’s father said.
The good news is, police did handle it. They investigated. They found the video evidence. They went through the court process. It seemed like they were actually going to get justice.
“All of them did absolutely fantastic work until it came down to the moment where we were going to get something back by knowing that they would have at least some sort of punishment for the things they did to my daughter, and it couldn't happen because of the way the law is written,” C’s dad said.
The law he's referring to is the Juvenile Reform Act. In an email to the family from the assistant district attorney, they quote parts of the act, saying one of the boys would spend six months in juvenile detention because he had a criminal past, but the other, who had no criminal past, would serve probation at home for six months.
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“Defendant A pled guilty on a charge of Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in violation of TCA 39-17-1005. Due to the criminal history of the Defendant, he was placed on 6 months State probation and placed into State's custody for the balance of that sentence. The defendant was to undergo a psychosexual evaluation and follow any and all recommendations as a part of his probation. The 6 month sentence is the presumptive sentence in Juvenile Court per TCA 37-1-132 (effective July 1, 2019). Keep in mind there are situations where probation can be extended past 6 months but the defendant is sentenced to the presumptive 6 months at the beginning. The defendant has other unrelated charges that remain pending at this time.
Defendant B pled guilty on a charge of Aggravated Rape in violation of TCA 39-13-502. The Defendant had no prior criminal history and therefore was sentenced to 6 months State probation with a stay on placement in State's custody. What that means is if there is a violation of the terms of the defendant's probation, the defendant would be removed from the home and placed into state's custody at that time. The defendant was to undergo a psychosexual evaluation and follow any and all recommendations as a part of his probation. The 6 month sentence is the presumptive sentence in Juvenile Court per TCA 37-1-132 (effective July 1, 2019). Keep in mind there are situations where probation can be extended past 6 months but the defendant is sentenced to the presumptive 6 months at the beginning. There are no further pending charges against this defendant at this time. “
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Neither will have to register as a sex offender because they're under 14.

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“As it relates to the defendants not having to register on the Sex Offender registry, the statute you would need to consult is 34 U.S.C. 20911(8) which states:
(8) Convicted as including certain juvenile adjudications
The term “convicted” or a variant thereof, used with respect to a sex offense, includes adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for that offense, but only if the offender is 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense and the offense adjudicated was comparable to or more severe than aggravated sexual abuse (as described in section 2241 of title 18), or was an attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense. (emphasis added)
This is a Federal Statute commonly referred to as SORNA. If you look at the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, you will see that we have followed the Federal Statute as it states:
Violent Juvenile Sexual Offender- Under 40-39-202, “Violent Juvenile Sexual Offender” means a person who has been adjudicated delinquent in this state for any act that constitutes a “violent juvenile sexual offense”, as defined in subdivision (28), provided, that the person is at least fourteen (14) years of age but less than eighteen (18) years of age at the time the act is committed; or has another qualifying adjudication or conviction, as defined in 40-39-203(a)(2). (emphasis added)
Both of the defendants in this case were 13 years old, which is why they were not placed on the Registry.”
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“They pleaded guilty and said, ‘Yes, I did this thing, and then the sentencing guidelines mandate that they can go home,” C’s dad said.
State Representative Jason Hodges heard this family's story and wants to change that law.
“Obviously, as a father, I was disgusted, and as a citizen of that community, I was disgusted. You know, rape is obviously a serious offense, and whether you're 13 or 30 you should know better,” Rep. Hodges said.
It's why he's working on two bills. One of those would allow people 13 and under to be charged as an adult for rape. The other would allow people 13 and under to be put on the sex offender’s registry at the discretion of a judge.
“The 13-year-old child that holds a girl down and rapes her with his friend needs to be on that registry. People need to know that he's a sex offender,” Rep. Hodges said.
He’s hoping amending these laws will help bring some peace to this brave victim.
“Like normal rapists, that they should get what they have,” C said.
She’s speaking up so others won’t feel like coming forward will be in vain.
Because this case involves juvenile defendants, the court couldn't give specific detail about the sentencing in this case, but the director did say, often times, in cases like these, the sentencing is at the discretion of the judge, and if probation is violated, the teen could be taken into custody.
Two 13-year-olds convicted of raping Tennessee teen only get 6 months probation Two 13-year-olds convicted of raping Tennessee teen only get 6 months probation Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:16 Rating: 5

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