The latest in a series of high-profile sexual assault cases involving student athletes is unfolding in Massachusetts, where public backlash is brewing over a judge’s light sentencing of 18-year-old David Becker.
Becker was given two years’ probation (plus evaluation as a sex offender) with no jail time after two women, also 18, accused him of raping them while they slept. The alleged victims and the defendant were in high school at the time of the reported incidents. Becker was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery.
The judge on the case ordered the case continued without a finding, which, according to Massachusetts law, means that if Becker completes his probation without incident, the case will be dismissed. Becker did not technically plead guilty, but the arrangement means that he conceded there are “sufficient facts” to prove his guilt.
Thomas Rooke, Becker’s defense attorney, gave a statement that sounds like a parody of rape culture dialogue, especially post-Brock Turner.
“We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19 years old, and we shouldn’t be branded for life with a felony offense and branded a sex offender,” Rooke said in court. “Putting this kid in jail for two years would have destroyed this kid’s life.”
Twitter was not pleased.
The language Rooke used recalled the immensely disgusting statement made by the father of Stanford swimmer Brock Turner when he claimed that the ordeal endured by his son—and not his son’s victim—was a “steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.”