After Oklahoma Judge Lets Child Rapist Off With No Jail Time

A judge in Oklahoma sentenced a pedophile who raped a 13-year-old girl to probation because he took pity on the defendant. The victim's parents were okay with the plea bargain, but the public is not.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition to remove the judge from the bench.

A new petition is circulating on the internet calling for Marshall County District Judge Wallace Coppedge of Oklahoma to step down from the bench. People are angry because the judge accepted a plea bargain from a man who raped a 13-year-old girl at a church camp that would allow him to get off with probation only.

The judge was lenient on Benjamin Lawrence Petty because he is blind.

The 36-year-old confessed rapist was working as a cook at the Falls Creek Baptist camp in 2016. He invited the young teen into his cabin because he said he wanted to show her something.

Once she stepped inside, Petty shut the door and pulled her into the bedroom.

The camp worker tied the child's hands behind her back, and pushed her face down into the bed. Petty then forcibly raped and sodomized the child, threatening the whole time that if she told anyone about the incident, he would hurt her.

Prosecutor David Pyle agreed to a plea deal in which Petty pleaded guilty to first-degree rape, forcible sodomy and rape by instrumentation. The deal sought probation only due to Petty's disability.

Because Petty is blind, he wasn't expected to serve any 'meaningful time', the defense attorney argued, and apparently the prosecutor and judge agreed.

Under the terms of the plea bargain, Petty would be on probation for 15 years, and required to wear an ankle monitor for two years. He will be listed on the sex offender's registry for life.

Pyle worked on the probation-only deal with the consent of the victim's parents. The victim lives in another state, and the parents felt the travel back and forth for a trial would be a hardship to them, and that prolonging the legal proceedings and trauma of testifying might be too stressful for the young girl.

After the bargain was made, many people felt that the man's disability should not excuse him from a just punishment, considering the seriousness of the crime. Outrage ensued and complaints poured in from concerned citizens who felt the bargain sent the wrong message to offenders.

Pyle resigned over the incident. Now, the public is targeting Coppedge.

The judge could have rejected the plea bargain, but says that he accepted it because the parents of the victim were satisfied with it.

“Even though the plea was negotiated with the victim’s parents’ permission, the terms of the sentence are absolutely ridiculous,” reads the petition. “The fact that Petty was legally blind does not bar him from being able to serve prison time for his heinous crimes.”

A look into the judge's background, however, found that he has a history of being lenient with convicted child rapists and pedophiles. In at least seven previous cases he allowed convicts to avoid jail time.

More than 110,000 people have signed the petition to remove him from the bench.

Source: MailOnline
Photo: YouTube, MailOnline

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