Twenty-year-old Sir Young pled guilty to the 2011 rape of a 14-year-old girl, but a lot of what happened in his case was strange: especially his sentence. In April, State District Judge Jeanine Howard opted to put Young on probation, ordering him to perform 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center and to spend 45 days in jail, but exempted him from some of the probation conditions that sex offenders typically face.
I've argued in this space in the past that I'd prefer to see both jail as a sentence and sex offender registration utilized cautiously, but it also seems as though caution should be used when ordering a convicted rapist to spend 250 hours in a facility intended to make rape survivors feel safe. But it became clear after Howard spoke to the media that her idea of who the real victim was in the incident between Young and the young teenager he was convicted of raping wasn't necessarily the girl. As the Dallas Morning News reports:
Howard said she made her decision for several reasons, including: The girl had texted Young asking him to spend time with her; the girl had agreed to have sex with him but just didn’t want to at school; medical records show the girl had three sexual partners and had given birth to a baby; and Young was barely 18 at the time.
“She wasn’t the victim she claimed to be,” Howard said. “He is not your typical sex offender.”
At best, Howard, who recused herself from further involvement in the case so she could speak to the media, seems to suggest that an 18-year-old who pursues sex with a 14-year-old girl is committing a lesser crime if the young teenager, who is legally unable to consent to the act, texts him in advance; at worst, they imply that, because the girl may have had sex in the past, she can't be the victim of rape.
From the witness stand, Sam Wyly didn’t look like a man who could upend the way the federal government prosecutes white-collar crime. The 79-year-old Dallas billionaire cupped his hand behind his ear to hear his lawyer’s questions. He admitted repeatedly to confusion about some of the key business transactions that had made him a billionaire. “I sometimes get it garbled in my mind,” he said when asked by the judge about inconsistencies in his testimony.
The story of Larry Jackson, Jr., a black Austin resident who was shot and killed by APD Detective Charles Kleinert last summer, moved one step closer to resolution this week: After a full investigation, a grand jury issued an indictment for Kleinert on the charge of manslaughter.
Stop us if this sounds familiar: An armed group in a Texas city, semi-automatic rifles strapped across their backs, descended on a place where you don't typically see a bunch of large guns, scaring the hell out of the people who caught a glimpse of them. It's no wonder that some people thought that perhaps the armed group might be up to no good—only to learn that the group was just exercising their right to carry a long-arm firearm openly in public in the state of Texas.
This latest example of the growing trend occurred at a Fort Worth Jack In The Box location. As NBC DFW reports:
An email from Sgt. Ray Bush, with the Fort Worth Police Department, said Jack in the Box employees at the South Freeway location on Sycamore School Road, were scared about the armed men protesting outside of the restaurant.
“They locked themselves inside a freezer for protection out of fear the rifle-carrying men would rob them,” the email stated. “The demonstration had no signage that would have alerted anyone to their real purpose, and to our knowledge they did not attempt to contact anyone in the Fort Worth Police Department to advise us prior to the demonstration.”
Fort Worth police responded to the situation as if it was a robbery.
The response from the Open Carry advocates who marched on the Jack In The Box also followed the established pattern for these things: A lot of talking about how they felt like the police were treating them like criminals, and reminding reporters at the scene that they do have the right to carry their weapons openly in Texas.
Getting around in Texas cities without driving your own car is a challenge. That part isn't really in dispute: even in cities that have good public transportation infrastructure (i.e., trains, comprehensive bus routes) don't meet all of the consumer needs. Trains only reach certain parts of the area, and buses don't run 24 hours.
Eddie Arguelles was a popular staffer at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg who rode his bike with a group called "5 AM Wakeup Ride" most mornings. Last Thursday, though, the 38-year-old was struck and killed by a drunk driver in the early morning hours on April 17th.