After being convicted of raping a four-year-old girl, ex-convict and Oklahoman native David Harold Earls is being sentenced to only one year in prison. He reportedly “struck a deal” in which 19 out of 20 of the years he was supposed to spend in jail were suspended.
So, how on earth did this happen? Supposedly, the rape victim (now five), made “contradictory statements during pretrial hearings.” At one point the toddler even left the court room and ran down the hallway. Can you believe that!? I guess that means her rapist is innocent!
On a less sarcastic note…This is unbelievable, not to mention frightening. Oklahoman citizens are outraged as well, and lawmakers are trying to get the judge who approved the plea bargain removed.
Barbara Bonner, director of the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, gave some insight into the difficulties that arise when a young child testifies against an adult during a trial. “Particularly in cases of young children, they have very high levels of anxiety associated with the abuse,” she told the Huffington Post. “They’ll do anything to avoid talking about it.”
And I would too. But it seems pathetic that just because this abused child can’t muster up what would have to be heroic courage to explain her case to a jury, her rapist will walk (nearly) free. A medical exam showed evidence that the girl was sexually assaulted, and Earls pleaded “no contest” to first-degree rape and forcible sodomy. Let’s put two and two together here, and protect our beloved children.