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>>

  • Local fraternity helping SWLA families have a good Christmas dinner

    Local fraternity helping SWLA families have a good Christmas dinner

    Saturday, December 16 2017 9:16 PM EST2017-12-17 02:16:30 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    One local fraternity made sure some families in Southwest Louisiana had a fully cooked meal to enjoy for Christmas. "We have turkeys and hams, but it's enough food in the box to feed a family of eight," said  Mark Gallashaw, president of Kappa Alpha Psi's Lake Charles Alumni Chapter. Thirty-five boxes of cooked meals are getting ready to be delivered to families across Southwest Louisiana. 

    More >>

    One local fraternity made sure some families in Southwest Louisiana had a fully cooked meal to enjoy for Christmas. "We have turkeys and hams, but it's enough food in the box to feed a family of eight," said  Mark Gallashaw, president of Kappa Alpha Psi's Lake Charles Alumni Chapter. Thirty-five boxes of cooked meals are getting ready to be delivered to families across Southwest Louisiana. 

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Showers and a few thunderstorms become likely this week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Showers and a few thunderstorms become likely this week

    Saturday, December 16 2017 6:40 PM EST2017-12-16 23:40:37 GMT
    Rain likely Sunday morningRain likely Sunday morning

    Tonight, we will have a 100% chance for rain to come through. At times there could be some thunder and lightning. The rain will begin early this evening, and will be scattered. Overnight, the rain will become more widespread. This is from an upper level disturbance that is coming through. It is the first of many disturbances.   Sunday’s rain chances remain high at 70%. All the rain from tonight will slowly wind down and will gradually come to an end before noon on Sunday.

    More >>

    Tonight, we will have a 100% chance for rain to come through. At times there could be some thunder and lightning. The rain will begin early this evening, and will be scattered. Overnight, the rain will become more widespread. This is from an upper level disturbance that is coming through. It is the first of many disturbances.   Sunday’s rain chances remain high at 70%. All the rain from tonight will slowly wind down and will gradually come to an end before noon on Sunday.

    More >>
  • LCPD: Suspect arrested after vehicle pursuit in Lake Charles

    LCPD: Suspect arrested after vehicle pursuit in Lake Charles

    Saturday, December 16 2017 5:12 PM EST2017-12-16 22:12:28 GMT
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)

    The Lake Charles Police Department has arrested one person after a nearly 20-minute pursuit Saturday afternoon. LCPD received a call of a person shooting a firearm from a vehicle on the 1900 block of Prejean Drive in the afternoon, said LCPD Deputy Chief Mark Kraus. Police located the vehicle near Hwy 14. A 19-minute pursuit then ensued, and ended with a suspect arrested.

    More >>

    The Lake Charles Police Department has arrested one person after a nearly 20-minute pursuit Saturday afternoon. LCPD received a call of a person shooting a firearm from a vehicle on the 1900 block of Prejean Drive in the afternoon, said LCPD Deputy Chief Mark Kraus. Police located the vehicle near Hwy 14. A 19-minute pursuit then ensued, and ended with a suspect arrested.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly