The distraught father of a Texas girl who was raped lashed out at a judge this week after a 22-year-old defendant who was convicted of the crime received a light sentence, according to a report.
“Be careful what judges you elect,” the father, who asked that his name be withheld to protect his daughter’s privacy, told FOX 26 of Houston.
“What is the judge telling our children when we try to teach our children to go to the police?” the father continued. “Let the police handle everything. Let the law do it. That’s what their job is – and then this happens.”
Polk County District Court Judge Travis Kitchens issued the sentence June 3 to defendant Eli Binnion, who authorities said committed the crime in July 2018, when he was 19 and the girl was 14, FOX 26 reported.
Binnion received a sentence of 180 days in jail as part of his probation, meaning he could walk free as soon as 100 days from now, the station reported. Prosecutors wanted Binnion to spend 15 years behind bars, the report said.
Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon made clear that the girl was not a willing participant in sex with the defendant, but instead was forcibly sexually assaulted.
Hon described the crime as a serious case with a dangerous perpetrator, FOX 26 reported. He said Binnion followed the girl into a hotel room, where she had gone with others to pick up some supplies for a July 4 gathering. He then forced her onto a bed and attacked her, the prosecutor told FOX 26.