A 23-year-old Missouri man has been sentenced to just 30 days behind bars for molesting an eight-year-old boy who he babysat twice. His lawyer has spoken out in favor of this lenient sentence because his client, who he refers to as “a boy,” has never been to prison before.
Convicted child molester Joseph Presley was facing up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in June to touching his underaged victim on two separate occasions. The victim told investigators that Presley touched him in his “private parts” and prevented him from telling his mother the first time. Despite the admission of guilt, Greene County Judge Calvin Holden gave Presley a surprisingly short sentence.
Judge Holden never disclosed why he changed his original verdict from 10 years to the time it takes for your new passport to come in, but lawyer Dee Wampler believes the lenient sentencing is fair, given Presley’s history. Wampler told reporters his client is a “churchgoing citizen” who was also touched as a child. The lawyer thinks the judge made the right call sentencing his client to 30 days in jail because any time longer and Presley may end up becoming a real child molester:
“I’m sure a lot of the public is going to say, ‘Lock him up and throw away the key. And they’re in favor of strong law enforcement, as long as the law applies to the other fella. And not to their child,” says Wampler. “Do we really want to take a boy that’s not institutionalized, that has not been in prison before, and put him in prison with some real sex molesters, and some real rapists? So that he can really learn the trade? Is that what we want?”
Presley will do 30 days behind bars, be placed on probation for five years and will have to register as a sex offender. This case will likely evoke comparisons to the lenient sentence of Stanford rapist Brock Turner, who will be released from prison on Friday after serving half of his controversial six-month sentence.
(via Atlanta Black Star)