POLK COUNTY, TX – A Texas judge recently gave a 22 year-old man who was convicted of assaulting and raping a 14 year-old girl an incredibly light sentence, and the victim’s father is absolutely furious this week over what he’s calling “a slap on the wrist,” reports say.
Defendant Eli Binnion had raped the victim in July 2018 when he was 19 and the girl just 14, officials say; prosecutors pointed out that the sex was completely non-consensual, and that Binnion had followed the victim into a hotel room where she was staying for a July 4 gathering, at which time he forced her onto the bed and sexually assaulted her.
Prosecutors – who described the defendant as a “dangerous perpetrator” – were pushing for a 15-year prison sentence; instead, Polk County District Court Judge Travis Kitchens gave Binnion just 180 days in jail, with him being potentially eligible for probation in as soon as 100 days.
The victim’s father, who requested that the media not publish his name out of concern for his daughter’s anonymity, lashed out against Judge Kitchens in interviews with local media.
“Be careful what judges you elect,” he said. “What is the judge telling our children when we try to teach our children to go to the police? Let the police handle everything. Let the law do it. That’s what their job is – and then this happens.”
The father stated that his daughter is still suffering from the aftereffects of the forcible assault – including emotional distress and insomnia – and noted that victims of future sex crimes may think twice before coming forward based on the outcome of this case.
“You get a slap on the wrist,” he said. “No victim is gonna want to come forward and go through all of the struggles and all of the ordeal that they have to go through, just for the person to get out and walk free.”