Iowa teen convicted of killing her rapist - really?

I ran across this story today and was completely disgusted by it. A 17-year-old was convicted and sentenced to 5 years of supervised “probation” which she will spend in a low security prison, followed by 15 years of probation. In addition, she has been ordered to pay 150,000 in restitution. Yes, I understand her rapist was asleep at the time she stabbed him to death (yeah!!) but really who gives a flying f*ck. The person who had been keeping her and trafficking her out hasn’t even been charged. The Democratic County Attorney who brought charges says “we’re still investigating him” I find it hard to believe that this is considered justice in our society.

6 Likes

I never know what the real story is when I read a news article about a court case. It appears that she plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The sentence itself is fairly light, but ordering restitution to the family of her rapist is worse than an insult. It’s like raping her again.

It’s too bad the GoFundMe that was set up to pay her restitution wasn’t set up earlier to hire her a better attorney. Depending on the facts of the case, one would think she could have found some sympathetic jurors.

8 Likes

I probably should have linked more articles about this situation which I looked up after reading the first story. From what I’ve read she was raised in a very abusive household from which she ran away at age 15. She was taken in by a 28-year-old man under the pretense of being his “girlfriend” but she couldn’t live for him for free. So, he would arrange for her to join men for sex. The first time she met the man she killed he raped her repeatedly over the course of 3 days. Later, her “boyfriend” wanted her to return and when she objected, he held a knife to her neck and cut her to force her to go. Again, this man raped her and when he was sleeping anger overcame her and she took his knife off a table and stabbed him 30 times. As for pleading guilty I’ll bet the conversation with her public defender went something like, “they could charge you with murder and send you away for life, but if you plead guilty it will be better.” Regardless, I find this whole situation deplorable.

11 Likes

Our justice system is far from perfect, as we all know, but one of its objectives is to eliminate vigilante justice. This would qualify.

My heart bleeds for her though. I think we can all empathize with her decision, since the justice system has been systematically dismantled by liberal socialists disguised as “Social Justice Warriors”.

Stop this ride, I want to get off.

5 Likes

I’m not sure what the definition of vigilante justice is, but a rape victim killing the person who rapes her (repeatedly) doesn’t sound like it. I’m pretty sure that in most states, lethal force is acceptable to stop a rape. (It is in mine.) I’m not sure if the law says that victims of human trafficking can use lethal force to escape, but since many of them are often trapped under threat of lethal force, I think more juries would accept it. Therefore, since she was both a sex slave held by a human trafficker under threat of death, and a rape victim who had reason to believe she would be raped again, I would think that a decent attorney could sell an argument that she had every right to use lethal force to free herself from her situation.

Again, I am not privy to all the details of this case. But just going off what I’ve read so far, it seems like she would have had a fair chance in front of a jury. It she’s allowed to do so, maybe she can sell the movie rights to her story, make a few bucks, and shame Iowa into reconsidering her case.

8 Likes

Vigilante: A person who is not a member of law enforcement but who pursues and punishes persons suspected of lawbreaking.

Justice: Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness.

I agree with you, it’s a tough outcome to accept.

3 Likes

I don’t think this person meets that definition. She did not pursue and punish a person she suspected of breaking the law. She freed herself from a person who had enslaved her for sex. Per the story we’re given, I don’t know why a prosecutor would have even considered charges.
Again, there may be facts in this story that we are unaware of. That often happens in news stories. But unless that’s the case, this seems like a miscarriage of justice. Stabbing someone 30 times is not “involuntary manslaughter,” so that charge is a joke in and of itself. But the use of lethal force to escape the situation she was in should be justified in any sane jurisdiction.

6 Likes

Deadly force is justified ONLY when undertaken to prevent IMMINENT AND otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily injury to the innocent.

She did not meet the “imminent” threshold.

Not here to debate the law, I’m not a legal scholar. Just saying.

3 Likes

I understand your argument that this may represent the justice system trying to stop the idea of vigilantly justice. I just don’t agree with the premise that a trapped victim isn’t allowed to use any means possible to free themselves. Currently, 11 states have what is called safe-harbor laws which would have given her at least some immunity for her actions. Another 15 or so have pending legislation. Personally, I am against anything that empowers those who commit crimes but punishes those who try to defend themselves. I know that the judge had no choice in sentencing due to Iowa laws, but the same isn’t true for the prosecuting attorney who still is not pursuing her capture. In this case, she continues to be victimized.

4 Likes

Totally agree.

1 Like

I’m not a lawyer, but I am an eligible juror ( :crazy_face:), and I disagree.
First, your description of when deadly force is justified does not match Iowa’s legal code.
See: 704.2A.pdf (iowa.gov)

Per Iowa law, a person is justified in using deadly force in order to stop someone from “unlawfully removing … another person against the other person’s will…” I’m not sure what else Iowa law says about rape or human trafficking, but since the deceased was holding her against her will, I think there’s a self-defense case to be made. He seems to have violated Iowa code 709.23 Continuous sexual abuse of a child, as well as 10A.2 Human trafficking.

Second, what other means did the victim have to escape her illegal bondage and continued sexual assault? Does Iowa law expect her to debate her captor until he sees the error of his ways?

6 Likes

I was having a conversation with my wife last night about this case. It is a terrible outcome for the young lady in every respect. Having her pay the family of her rapist is simply victimizing her again.

It is something that should be rectified. Hopefully some lawmakers take these type of situations into account and amend the specific laws that have allowed this to happen.

3 Likes

Read part a. “at the time the force is used”. That means “imminent”. If she had stabbed him at the time she was being held against her will, or at the time he was raping her, she would have been within her right to defend herself under Iowa law, at least, that’s the way I interpret it. Any legal counsel out there in the audience willing to clarify? She should have been packing if you ask me.

1 Like

At the time force was used, she was being held against her will. That doesn’t meet the word-for-word description of justified force in Iowa, but that’s the general meaning. If I can use deadly force to prevent someone from removing me from my home or car against my will, then on what rational basis could I not use deadly force to escape when I’m being unlawfully enslaved against my will?

BTW, I keep waiting for an actual attorney to see this and tell us we’re both wrong. :laughing:

6 Likes

These laws are carefully crafted by people who are as sharp as marbles.

6 Likes

Wrong set of priorities :rage:

9 Likes

That says it all…

6 Likes

This is purely a case of no money for defense, It’s not very often a Criminal Defense Attorney would accept a murder trial even for a person experienceing a horrible situation, lack of funds was an easy win for the Prosecutor and the defense didn’t see any money in it either. She get raped in Court, what a disgrace !

6 Likes

@Hobert Welcome to our community, we are glad to have you. :slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

@Hobert Welcome to the community! I agree with you that in this case a better attorney could have helped protect her.

4 Likes