White football player accused of raping black teenager with a mental disability spared prison


INDEPENDENT: "A white football player accused of raping a mentally disabled black classmate with a coat hanger in a US high school has been spared jail.

John R.K. Howard, 19, was sentenced to three years’ probation and 300 hours of community service by a court in Idaho for the attack in a sports locker room in October 2015.

The sentence came after the judge accepted a plea bargain which let Howard technically plead guilty while still maintaining his innocence.

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The family of the victim, who claim the brutal assault by three white teens followed months of racist abuse, have not officially commented on the high profile case but are said by local media to be furious at the outcome.

The victim, who was 17 at the time of the attack, described the assault during the April preliminary hearing for another alleged attacker, Tanner Ward, who was initially charged as an adult in the attack but whose case was later remanded to juvenile court.

“After practice I was in the locker room, and one of my friends, he told me to come here, and I went over to him and gave him a hug,” the victim said, according to a transcript obtained by the Guardian. “He told me to give him a hug. He had his hands out like he was going to give me a hug. And I gave him a hug, and he signaled for one of my other friends to come over.”

He went on to give a detailed description of a harrowing anal rape in which the attackers sought to inflict as much pain as possible.

The victim was asked how he felt during the attack. “Pain that I have never felt took over my body,” he replied. “I screamed, but afterwards, I kept it to myself.”



I cannot reply in a way that would not get me banned. This (ETA: meaning the sentence the alleged human got) is NOT justice.


I know. I started to cry when I read the letter that the nurse found. How is this justice? I can’t today.


This is why mandatory minimum sentencing laws are a good thing.


The majority of mandatory minimum cases/sentences are used for drug related offenses. If any case deserves a mandatory minumum sentence, IMO, it should be for rape, assault and murder cases. What kind a DA or judge would even consider this ridiculous plea agreement? He is free to roam and do this to someone else. It’s an insult to the family. The justice system is a joke.


The mandatory minimum sentence applies to what the person who committed the act is found guilty of, or pleads to.


Trials are won or lost based on evidence, not on how horrible the crime was. Based on the evidence the prosecution had, this may have been the best they could get. If they’d had a stronger case, they would have pushed for a harsher plea.


Or, the prosecutors thought that the jury wouldn’t find him guilty.


Because of a lack of evidence or because the jury members were racist?


It seems that the coach and players got the boy to say he had lied so his parents could sue the school and recorded it.


Or because the football player was popular in the town, and the mentally disabled boy was not? (I don’t know, but the article said the town was divided, and implied that it wasn’t divided 50/50.)

This happens all too often, a popular and charismatic person is accused of some sort of sexual crime, and everyone gets mad at the *accuser, *rather than the _____ who did it.


Or it could be that the prosecutor didn’t have a strong enough case…


Which would be “lack of evidence,” no?


Or another athlete getting away with crime. Who knows why. Whatever the case, it’s wrong. Imo, a gross miscarriage of justice.


This is just beyond horrific and a huge injustice.
How can the courts say the crime was not a rape crime if he was raped?
Maybe they weren’t able to prove that it was racially motivated,but regardless,if there was a rape it should be of course classed as being a rape crime and not just an assault and they should receive very lengthy jail sentences.

Who was the judge who allowed this?
The article stated there was enough evidence to indicate it had happened so why was there such a light sentence?
The judge should be aware that people with disabilities can sometimes be innocent,vulnerable and be easily coerced to retract statements to keep friends or not be bullied.


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