Colorado men sentenced to probation over gang rape of 13-year-old girl
After a 13-year-old girl was gang raped in Colorado Springs in December 2016, many expected harsh punishments. But it seems as though the suspects will escape serving prison time.
The family of a gang rape victim was left outraged this past January after the judge presiding over the case sentenced one of the six offenders to just probation. Now, three months later, further salt has been rubbed into their wounds after two of the other accused were also sentenced to zero jail time.
19-year-old Tyron Williams was sentenced in January to 10 years to life of sex offender supervised probation as part of a plea agreement after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting the 13-year-old girl in 2016. Supposed to be the most closely watched type of probation, it will reportedly involve hundreds of strict rules, including requiring Williams to undergo therapy and polygraph tests.
Before the sentencing, he had said: "I apologize to [the victim] and her family for what happened. If I knew she was underage, it wouldn’t have happened in the first place."
As reported by KKTV, most recently, two of the other defendants, 20-year-old Tommy Williams and 19-year-old Clarence Williams, were also given a minimum of 10 years of sex offender intensive supervised probation, with a maximum of life on probation. Another of the accused, 20-year-old James Williams, was sentenced to five years of probation for pleading guilty to accessory to crime.
The presiding 4th Judicial District Judge Michael McHenry clarified, however, that if the terms of the probation were broken, the accused would go to jail.
The incident allegedly took place in Colorado Springs in December 2016, with the 13-year-old girl filing a complaint with the police that she had been raped by several men at the Stonebrook Terrace Apartments in the 4000 block of Tappan Drive.
She told the investigators that she knew Jacolby Williams and that she was invited over to the apartment to play video games along with a couple of friends when she met him at the nearby Citadel Mall. When she went into the bathroom, her friends left, and she was left alone with the suspects.
She said that she was pulled out of the bathroom by a couple of men, who then took her to a bedroom and forcibly held her down as the men took turns raping her. The teen's grandmother had explained the horrific rape in detail to the court, saying that her granddaughter was rotated around the bed 'like a hand on a clock' during the assault.
After the girl's complaint to the police, an investigation immediately managed to identify one of the suspects. As they were serving out a search and arrest warrant on the suspect, they uncovered information regarding three other suspects, and later that day, detectives from Colorado Springs Police's Crimes Against Children Unit apprehended all four.
The teen then managed to identify two of the last suspects who had raped her and police later managed to bring them under arrest as well. The accused were identified as 21-year-old Jacolby Williams, 20-year-old Tommy Williams, 20-year-old James Williams, 19-year-old Clarence Williams, 19-year-old Tyron Williams, and an unnamed 17-year-old Uves Dequan Williams. Police say all are either brothers or cousins to one another.
To the family, their light sentencing was a slap in the face. The girl's grandfather, agitated after the most recent punishments were handed out, reportedly got into a shouting match with the Williams' family members and had to be escorted out of the courtroom.
Her grandmother was similarly upset. She said that the teen had been in therapy for the past 14 months, to little effect and that her granddaughter may never be able to have children. The psychological effects were visible for the courtroom to see as well. She was supposed to speak in court before one of the hearings but suffered an anxiety attack and could not bring herself about to do it.
McHenry is said to have handed out the probation sentences and accepted the pleas after taking into consideration that the family did not want to traumatize the girl by taking the case to a trial. The family, however, maintains their concern that the accused will repeat the crime if free.
Two of the defendants, Jacolby Williams and Uves Dequan Williams are still waiting to go to trial.