Victim stunned as Alabama judge lets serial rapist avoid jail

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Austin Clem has been convicted for raping a teenager three times, but he may avoid jail time altogether after an Alabama judge on Wednesday sentenced him to serve two years in a supervised community corrections program and three years of probation.

“I’m still baffled,” the victim, Courtney Andrews, now 20, told CNN. “I don’t know how any of this is possible.”

Clem was convicted of raping Ms. Andrews twice when she was 14 and again when she was 18.

“When does he have to pay? Because he still hasn’t had to,” she said to local station WAFF 48. “I have to pay for the rest of my life. I’ve been paying since I was 13 years old. When does he have to pay?”

Even Clem’s defense was surprised at the ruling.

“Frankly, I think the judge’s sentence was surprising to most everyone in the courtroom,” attorney Dan Totten said.

Clem must register as a sex offender, but if he follows all the guidelines, he will stay out of prison, CNN reported.

“Honestly, I didn’t understand when I first heard the sentence,” Ms. Andrews said. “I was expecting him to spend a long time in prison.”

Scott Berkowitz, a spokesman for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, said Limestone County Judge James Woodroof’s sentence “suggests that the crime itself wasn’t that serious,” MSNBC reported.

“A sentence like this is more akin to littering than a sentence you would expect on serious charge like murder or rape,” he added.

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