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Huh?! Man Rapes 4-Year-Old Girl, Gets One Year in Jail

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this story. David Earls, who admitted to raping a 4-year-old girl, will be released from jail after only a year. The 64-year-old man got 19 years of his 20-year sentence suspended.

The judge, who has come under fire, says that he simply followed the law by approving the plea agreed to by the district attorney, defendant, and family.

Prosecutors reasoned that it would be better to offer a plea deal and guarantee that Earls register as a sex offender than to risk losing the tough case. Because the victim was so young, they reasoned, she would have a hard time being a credible witness and articulating what happened to her. It's a cruel irony that this girl's age is making it harder to put this man away for a long time when it should make it easier.

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runningesq runningesq 8 years
and Symphonee, you are absolutely right. It is amazing what people will 'confess' to after hours of police interrogation. That's why confessions alone are not admissible -- they must be corroborated by some evidence.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Well, my last comment was flagged - I have no idea why! - but what I said was this: little to no forensic evidence + incompetent witness (before you jump all over me, incompetent in this case means unable to testify) = very good chance of a big fat NOT GUILTY.;
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Symphonee -- you are absolutely right... hours and hours of interrogation can cause someone to confess to a crime that they didn't commit. However, in order for a confession to be admissible, there must be SOME (not a lot) of corroborating evidence -- to prevent the false confession alone from convicting the defendant. I read the USA Today article, and these two things jumped out at me: 1. "What's gone unnoticed is that the forensics were very weak," Mills said. "There was some trauma in the physical exam, but it would have been completely speculative for that examiner to testify that David Earls caused any of it." 2. District Attorney Jim Bob Miller ... determined after two days of working with Earls' accuser that the girl — who is now 5 years old — was not able to testify. "She was not mature enough or able to sit still long enough," Miller said. "We had a real risk of losing at trial and him walking out scot-free." So: 1. little to no forensic evidence, and 2. an incompetent witness. It sounds like the State had a real trial risk - remember that the standard is 'beyond a reasonable doubt' (not 'more likely than not') and it's very very possible that the jury wouldn't convict. They offered what they thought would get them a conviction, and the defendant took it. The defendant apparently has cancer and 'three years to live' so lets hope that's true. I hope he rots in hell.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
This is a result of the war of drugs. So much time and emphasis is spent on getting drug dealers and users off the streets that police and prosecutors are left with barely worth while evidence to get a conviction with. Confessions mean next to nothing in a court of law because it has been shown time and time again that people can confess to crimes they never committed while under duress. With that being said, I agree with Sloane on the fact they should have tried to push for at 18 months. I take little comfort in the fact that he will be imprisoned again because the recidivism rate for male sexual offenders is so high; because some little girl will get her life drastically hurt and changed in the process
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
Rape and sexual assaults cases are among the most under-tried cases in the U.S. and it is disgusting. Here in Austin, TX there was a major issue with the fact that 100s of rape kits were never processed. How can a rape case be tried without evidence? I know every case is different but I read about drug dealers or thieves receiving 10-20 years and a rapist receiving 5 and getting out after 1. This is a pattern and one that has to change. The legal system needs to be taken to task for how it handles rape and sexual assault. The law is messed up for minors. Just look at the "sexting" case that when before a judge. A law meant to protect children is being used to prosecute them?! Also, the fact that they went for a year in jail so he would register as a sex offender is ridiculous. Registration doesn't prevent a crime from occurring and most law enforcement agencies are so underfunded that there are sex offenders missing. In 2005 Jessica Lunsford was raped and murdered by a convicted sexual predator. Crimes like these aren't mistakes and when the victim is so young the likelihood it will happen again is increased. This is just gross.
wackydeli wackydeli 8 years
so how many years will he get when his next victim is raped and murdered? how many lives do you have to destroy before you get sent to prison? so while this little girl and her family will have to go through life with these scars the monster who did it will live a completely normal life without remorse or can we change this? is there anyone we can write to? congressmen? the DA? why are people serving more time for marajauna then raping a child?
emma-noel emma-noel 8 years
hes goin 2 be murdered in there (hopefully)
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
@runningesq- i don't know, you seem to be operating under the belief that prosecutors are above reproach and critique, which i don't ever believe is true. if i feel something is wrong i'm going to question it, and i feel this is wrong. so i will reiterate, even if the prosecution did not feel that they had the strongest case, they could have negotiated for more time in jail. and i brought up non-violent drug crime sentences in comparison to sexual offense and sentences because drug offenders are consistently given harsher sentences than sex offenders. if you don't think this points to a pattern of apathy in the justice system towards crimes against women and children then i don't know what to say. the least that we can hope for is that they advocated for a highly supervised probation, although i don't think that would stop a bastard like this.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
I hope he suffers a million times more than what he put this little girl through. what a disgusting excuse for a human being.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
sexual predators are treated very cruelly in prison. that will be the longest, most horrible year of his life.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
... and it bugs me when people say "well look what X got for such and such crime." Each crime is different, facts are different, records are different, judges are different, juries are different.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Sigh. Part of the State's offer is based on the strength of the case. If you have a great case, lots of evidence, witnesses willing to testify, etc. - then you can offer a lot of jail (or not make an offer at all and just try it). I don't know the facts of this case, but my guess is that the prosecutor DID take the crime very seriously, and this is what he or she thought was a good offer considering the trial risk. IMO, it's better to get the conviction, get the probation, get the sex offender label then go to trial and get a big fat NOT GUILTY.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
And what was his crime.......
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
And how long did Michael Vick go to jail....
Meike Meike 8 years
So admission to the violent rape crime is not enough? Honestly, I feel like this is the reason why violence and rape towards children is far more common in the U.S. than many of its 1st world counterparts. Our judicial system is basically giving sex offenders a little slap on the wrist.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
runningesq, I agree with you! If the prosecution's case is that weak, it's better to have him in jail for a year PLUS being a registered sex offender for the rest of his life than risk a not guilty verdict and he walks totally free. And I don't think that this case demonstrates that our justice system doesn't take rape seriously. The most sensational cases and situations are the ones that make the news.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Very disturbing
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
as i said they could've negotiated a plea deal for more time than 1 year, and what kind of monitoring is he going to be under once he leaves jail? is he going to be on probation, will he have a house arrest monitor, or will he get the same type of supervision that allows many sex offenders to leave their state without a trace and rape again?
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Okay, and if this case goes to trial, what evidence does the State put on?
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
how the F**K does someone get more time in jail for a non-violent drug offense than some monster who rapes a 4 year old baby. i don't care what anyone's rationale was. out of that 20 year sentence he could've have gotten less than 19 years suspended. it sickens me, and again makes me feel as though sex offences are not taken seriously by the judicial system in comparison to other crimes.
hottpink hottpink 8 years
Ok, what is it with lawyers and thinking they know so much more and can talk down to "regular" people. I am a paralegal and have been for 4 years so I know how the legal system works. And yes, I also know that the accused deserve to be protected as well. 1 year is not what this man deserves so how can you sit there and say that "he will get what he deserves"? Just another example of how rape cases are pushed aside and not taken seriously.
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