//No Prison For Colorado Student Who Raped ‘Helpless’ Freshman
Austin Wilkerson Colorado Rape

No Prison For Colorado Student Who Raped ‘Helpless’ Freshman

Wilkerson, 22, convicted of sexual assault of a helpless victim and unlawful sexual contact, faced a possible prison sentence of four years to life for the March 2014 attack on the freshman woman. But a judge in Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday sentenced him to two years on work release and 20 years’ probation.

by Tyler Kingkade

(Huff Post) – Austin Wilkerson told friends of a fellow University of Colorado-Boulder student who drank too much at a party that he’d take care of her. Instead, he raped her as she drifted out of consciousness and lied about what he had done.

Wilkerson, 22, convicted of sexual assault of a helpless victim and unlawful sexual contact, faced a possible prison sentence of four years to life for the March 2014 attack on the freshman woman. But a judge in Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday sentenced him to two years on work release and 20 years’ probation.

“I’ve struggled, to be quite frank, with the idea of, ‘Do I put him in prison?’” said Judge Patrick Butler, according to the Daily Camera newspaper. “I don’t know that there is any great result for anybody. Mr. Wilkerson deserves to be punished, but I think we all need to find out whether he truly can or cannot be rehabilitated.”

The lenient punishment, reminiscent of the six-month sentence given to Stanford University athlete Brock Turner in June for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, adds to the perception that the criminal justice system too often fails to consider the trauma and lifelong effects experienced by rape victims, said Brie Franklin, executive director of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

“We are disappointed to see, yet again, that the impact on the perpetrator, who chose to commit a crime against another person, is being considered over the impact on the victim, who did not have a choice in the matter,” Franklin told The Huffington Post.

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