Documents: rape sentence 'gross disruption of justice' - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Documents: rape sentence 'gross disruption of justice'

Convicted rapist Austin Clem was sentenced to four years in the community corrections program and six years probation. Convicted rapist Austin Clem was sentenced to four years in the community corrections program and six years probation.
LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The Limestone County District Attorney filed court documents that said a Circuit Court judge made a mistake when sentencing a rapist to a lenient sentence that required no jail time. District Attorney Brian Jones wants the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to make a change to the sentence of convicted rapist Austin Clem.

A jury previously convicted Clem on first and second-degree rape charges, all involving the same victim.  

The charge comes with 30 years prison time, but the judge sentenced him to four years in the community corrections program and six years probation. The judge ruled no jail time for Clem unless he violated these terms.

According to the court documents, Jones said the sentence violated Alabama law and the sentence is a "gross disruption of criminal justice."

WAFF researched the law that Jones cited in the appeal. Alabama Code 15-18-171 talks about defendants found guilty of crimes and the sentences they can receive including to the community corrections program.

15-18-171 (14): EXCLUDED FELONY OFFENDERS. One who is convicted of any of the following felony offenses: Murder, kidnapping in the first degree, rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, arson in the first degree, trafficking in controlled substances, robbery in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, forcible sex crimes, lewd and lascivious acts upon a child, or assault in the first degree if the assault leaves the victim permanently disfigured or disabled.

WAFF legal analyst Mark McDaniel called this case one of the most unique cases we've had in our area in a long time. 

"The issue is whether or not there was a legal mistake made," said McDaniel. "Basically, is the sentence illegal?"

Clem's victim Courtney Andrews, who wants to be identified, was shocked by the sentence. The district attorney said he would review all possible options to reach a sentence that would bring justice to Andrews.  

"The first thing that I asked was what can we do to change this because this is not ok for me and I am not through here but of course, I was thinking what is there to do? This is a judge. This is court. What else is there for me to do that could possibly change anything?" said Andrews.

McDaniel said this case is years from being over, and isn't ruling out a double jeopardy argument coming into play.

"He's had his day in court, he's been sentenced. You could argue it's a valid sentence, and you can't bring him back because you don't like the sentence and change it now," he said.

WAFF reached out to The Limestone County District Attorney's Office and the judge's office. Both declined to comment on the current situation. 

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Looking back at Hurricane Audrey: 60 year anniversary

    Looking back at Hurricane Audrey: 60 year anniversary

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:23 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:23:26 GMT
    (SOURCE: KPLC)(SOURCE: KPLC)
    It's estimated between four and five hundred people perished in Hurricane Audrey which crept on shore earlier than expected about 3 a.m. June 27th in 1957.  The loss and heartbreak unimaginable for so many.   The late Rodney Guilbeaux lost seven family members including his mother.  "At a quarter to seven a humongous wave hit.  They could see it coming," he said in an interview around the year 2000.  "They knew that that was the end. ...More >>
    It's estimated between four and five hundred people perished in Hurricane Audrey which crept on shore earlier than expected about 3 a.m. June 27th in 1957.  The loss and heartbreak unimaginable for so many.   The late Rodney Guilbeaux lost seven family members including his mother.  "At a quarter to seven a humongous wave hit.  They could see it coming," he said in an interview around the year 2000.  "They knew that that was the end. ...More >>
  • The Human Library comes to Iowa Library

    The Human Library comes to Iowa Library

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:23 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:23:23 GMT

    Instead of checking out books, residents in Southwest Louisiana had the chance to check out people Tuesday. The way the Human Library works, instead of actually reading, you have real people sharing real their life stories.to share their real life stories.  In a time where the country sees division on political and social issues, the human library allows everyone to share their perspectives and experiences. Chyenne Bertrand is one of the Librarians, and it was her idea to b...

    More >>

    Instead of checking out books, residents in Southwest Louisiana had the chance to check out people Tuesday. The way the Human Library works, instead of actually reading, you have real people sharing real their life stories.to share their real life stories.  In a time where the country sees division on political and social issues, the human library allows everyone to share their perspectives and experiences. Chyenne Bertrand is one of the Librarians, and it was her idea to b...

    More >>
  • TRAFFIC: Avoid Nelson at Sale due to multi-vehicle accident

    TRAFFIC: Avoid Nelson at Sale due to multi-vehicle accident

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:12 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:12:49 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    Avoid Nelson and West Sale for the next hour due to a multi-vehicle accident, according to the Lake Charles Police Department.  Both inside, southbound lanes are shut down. Copyright 2017 KPLC.  All rights reserved. More >>
    Avoid Nelson and West Sale for the next hour due to a multi-vehicle accident, according to the Lake Charles Police Department.  Both inside, southbound lanes are shut down. Copyright 2017 KPLC.  All rights reserved. More >>
Powered by Frankly