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TAKE ACTION: Tell Judge: Treat Sexual Assault as a Serious Crime

Society & Culture  (tags: violence, women, society, safety, rape, crime )

- 1072 days ago -
Show that you believe that rape is a serious crime by vacating Austin Smith Clem's original sentence, and giving him a meaningful punishment for the felony sexual assault of a vulnerable family friend that he could easily intimidate.

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Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:29 am
Why is this important?

In Limestone County, AL, another convicted child rapist was allowed to walk away from that conviction with no jail time. As long as rapist Austin Smith Clem fulfills the terms of a community corrections program designed for nonviolent offenders who are "likely to maintain a productive and law-abiding life," he can avoid serving any of his sentence in prison.

Limestone County's district attorney, Brian Jones, has filed a motion asking Circuit Judge James Woodroof to vacate his sentencing order for Clem and re-sentence him according to Alabama law, which prohibits felony offenders completing their sentences in community corrections programs.

In fact, the judge seems to have accepted the defense attorney's line of reasoning that because the victim continued to have a social relationship with Clem and his family, that she must have been lying about having been forcibly raped. This conveniently ignores Clem's threats to kill his victim's parents, threats that would have sounded much more credible to a 14-year-old, and the shame that led her at 18 to tell her parents through a family friend.

Shame, fear and intimidation around sexual assault and gender-based violence committed by close friends or family routinely keeps the victims of sexual and domestic abuse trapped quietly in ongoing relationships with their abusers -- relationships that are later used to damn them in court. Was it really serious if she didn't immediately kick up a fuss, move out, tell everyone she knew, or change everything about her life? Yes. Yes, because most violence against women isn't committed by strangers leaping out of bushes, but by people we know and trust, people who are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives.

Not many people can afford to risk walking away from their support networks of friends and family, their schools, their jobs, or their homes, just like that, because someone has attacked them. For minors, who rarely have the resources to act independently or the confidence that someone will take their word over an adult's, escape from abusive situations can seem impossible.

When judges treat sexual assault like it isn't a serious crime, it tells other offenders that if they're caught, even judges are more than willing to spread the blame to their victims and let them off the hook. Especially if the victim is someone they know, someone who believes they're powerless to get away.

This is intolerable. Austin Smith Clem needs to get an appropriate sentence.


Animae C. (520)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:31 am
Your action has been submitted.
747 of 800 signatures

Debbie Williamson (322)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:32 am
Signed and shared. Thanks, Beverly.

natasha salgado (715)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:32 am
S+S-thx Beverly

kate K. (482)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:52 am
noted and signed thank you Beverly

John Holton (351)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:59 am
S and N

Patricia H. (440)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 7:17 am
noted, signed and shared

Barry AWAY T. (938)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 7:45 am
noted & shared - couldn't sign (U.S. only I think)

Mary T. (357)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 7:46 am
Thank you Beverly - signed, noted & shared...these monsters need to stay behind prison walls not free walking the streets to harm another child

Timothy Spurlin (29)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 8:30 am
S&N! Yet another rape condoning judge! Maybe the rapist and judge need to be Bubba's new cellmates!

Yvonne F. (180)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 8:55 am
So signed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Beverly

Terrie Williams (800)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 9:45 am
Signed and shared in private email. Noted.

Jim Phillips (3255)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 9:58 am

Austin Smith Clem needs to go to prison. The judge, Circuit Judge James Woodroof, must "vacate his sentencing order for Clem and re-sentence him according to Alabama law, which prohibits felony offenders completing their sentences in community corrections programs. [3]".

of 3,000 signatures. Numbers may increase. See comment box: November 19, 2013, 6:31 am above.

ty, Beverly.

Birgitta S. (202)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 11:33 am
DONE. Thank You for this, Beverly.

Bridget Robertson (106)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 11:49 am
Noted, signed, tweeted. Please send blessings and prayers to that District Attorney for taking this Judge on!!! And TY.

PlsNoMessage se (614)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 11:57 am
Noted. Don`t work from here.

Lydia No Fwds M. (80)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 11:59 am
Noted with Thanks..
Unable to sign as Zip Code Invalid..

June Bostock (50)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:04 pm
Unable to sign but noted. Thanks.

Ana Lopes (92)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:09 pm

Davida P. (283)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:11 pm
Noted & Signed

marga huber (94)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:12 pm
Darn, can't sign, my zip code is not accepted
Netherlands may not participate? :(

Autumn Away S. (151)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:14 pm
signed and noted

Barbara Goheen (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:31 pm
Signed and noted.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:32 pm
Unable to sign as my zip code isn't acceptable :-( Noted and thank you Beverly for sharing.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:34 pm
Thanks for the forward Patricia R. Of course this man needs to do some jail time for the rape of a 14 year old girl, who was too afraid to speak out at the time. As far as I know, there's no statutue of limitations on rape of a minor, is there ? ( I hope not!) He raped a child, but now he promises to be a good boy and not hurt anymore girls/women, and that's enough? I think not! Gladly signed, thanks Beverly. And yes, the D>A> deserves our thanks and support for braving the system and this so-called "judge".

Sandra K. Walker (92)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:36 pm
Signed with love.

Maria Cristina A. (119)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:45 pm
It's incredible how there is legal ground for this

Joanne Dixon (36)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:48 pm
Signed previously. This is Tennessee - I don't know the law there, but there might indeed be a statute of limitations on rape of a minor. Does anyone know?

S S. (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 12:52 pm
Thank you.

Athena F. (131)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:03 pm
so sick of this, thank you, done

Laetitia schartner (171)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:04 pm
signed and noted

Birgit W. (159)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:05 pm

M B. (62)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:11 pm

Thomas P. (449)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:19 pm
Noted and signed...thanks Beverly

Mark Andrews (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:20 pm
This story concerns my beautiful niece. She, as a 20 year old, has chosen to stand up, and let the media interview her in order for the public to understand what this Judge has done. Please - share this story- signed this petition - spread this around. because IT IS making a difference.
On behalf of the Andrews family- thank you for all of your help.

Elisa F. (235)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:22 pm
N&S. Thanks, Beverly. Thanks to Patricia R. for fwd.

Sarah Addis (35)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:25 pm
Sorry -tried to sign, wouldn't accept postcode.

Emma S. (240)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:32 pm
Done! Thanks, Beverly.

Karen Kersten-Chestney (112)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:33 pm
petition signed...and...forwarded....thanks

Melania Padilla (197)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:33 pm
So signed!

. (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:38 pm
signed #3610

Kathy Bergquist (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:50 pm
I was waiting for this one, thanks. N and S.

Frances Darcy (225)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 1:55 pm
Signed.... These judges give the justice systemd a bad name... no wonder some people do not report crimes...Shame on you , judge

Franziska Eber (72)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 2:08 pm

Winn Adams (203)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 2:09 pm

Mike M. (44)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 2:18 pm

Valerie H. (133)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 2:19 pm
Thank you - signed

Rose Becke (142)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 2:34 pm
Signed Beverly

christina r. (41)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 2:43 pm
This is becoming so beyond. This has to STOP. This raping of girls and women. It's so sad that men need to find their social or mental status by raping and abusing women. I think the courts should really start showing examples of what (should) happen as punishment to these men and that doesn't mean give them a few days and then release them back out to the public so they have all they need to rape at will. At this point it's for the courts to show support to those who have had their lives and innocence stolen. It sickens me.

Annemie O. (153)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:06 pm
N & S

Gloria H. (88)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:08 pm
is there a statute of limitations on rape? Even the catholic church is taking a look at priests who have molested years ago. I hope some "family" member of the girl happens on this POS in the backyard and does some friendly convincing that rape is rape.
this happened to my cousin also, the rapist threatened to kill the family, fortunately some other child told adults, there was a manhunt and the rapist killed himself.
I'm all for branding these creeps. Repaying society with time spent is a load of manure when it comes to rapists and child molesters.

Karen Kersten-Chestney (112)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:10 pm
Petition....signed...and forwarded to twitter and facebook......Thank-you.

Angeles Madrazo (301)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:14 pm

S J. (133)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:27 pm
Done, thanks Beverly

. (0)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:27 pm
Signed and Noted.

Gabriela Baldaia (104)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:32 pm
Signed .Thanks

Michelle M. (68)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 3:53 pm
Noted. Had problems trying to sign, sorry.

Franshisca Dearmas (89)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 4:06 pm
Noted and signed. TY Beverly

Linda W. (177)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 4:12 pm
Done ~ with Hope. Thanks Beverly

Ruth C. (141)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 4:34 pm

Vicky P. (476)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 4:46 pm
noted, signed, shared

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 5:43 pm
Signed & noted. Thank you, Beverly.

Judy T. (227)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:05 pm
Signed. Thank you, Beverly.

Dori C. (17)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 6:28 pm

Laurie S. (73)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 7:39 pm
Your action has been submitted.

Candy L. (473)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 9:09 pm
Thanks Signed & Tweeted

Lisa Zarafonetis (168)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 10:44 pm

Lynn Juozilaitis (141)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 11:44 pm
Signed & shared on FB
This "judge" should hang his head in shame for blaming the victim!
So many judges aren't fit to wear those robes! They should be on trial! UGH!!

Angelene B. (148)
Tuesday November 19, 2013, 11:47 pm

Ondine J. (134)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 12:03 am
Noted and signed,thanks

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 12:15 am
Signed and noted

Victoria Oakey (124)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 12:57 am
Noted. US only.

Inge Bjorkman (188)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 1:03 am


Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 1:15 am

Elvira Escamilla Davila (60)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 3:51 am
Signed and thank you

Joy Wong (99)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 4:24 am
Noted and signed.

Gloria picchetti (310)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 4:28 am

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 4:49 am

Arild Warud (174)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 5:28 am
Signed & Shared

Tom Tree (245)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 6:57 am

Whoa !

Wait a minute .....
Common Sense ..., What a concept !!

Winn Adams (203)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 7:20 am
Previously signed

. (0)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 8:11 am
#5.492 Signed and noted - thank you Beverly and Patricia for the fw

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 10:30 am

Maria S. (95)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 2:19 pm
Noted & signed. Thanks Beverly! & Patricia for forwarding!

Phyllis P. (291)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 5:07 pm
Signed and shared

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 6:44 pm
Signed and Noted!

jess b (26)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 7:48 pm

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Thursday November 21, 2013, 4:05 am
noted and signed

Ben L. (31)
Thursday November 21, 2013, 6:06 am
Noted but not signed because I live outside the US and can not sign. :-(

. (0)
Thursday November 21, 2013, 12:16 pm
we have to take responsibility for how we have raised our sons.
as men, world wide, too many think rape is their right.
thousands of citizens from your country take sex vacations to third world nations, use abducted children who are sex slaves as prostitutes, in your cities, at your sporting events, on vacation in your resorts.
make a difference. talk to men you know. tell them rape is wrong

Charlene Rush (79)
Thursday November 21, 2013, 3:33 pm
Where is this judge's brain?
What will he say, when it happens, again? Rest assured, it will happen, again.
People with the mindset of Mr.Clem, are repeat offenders.

Past Member (0)
Friday November 22, 2013, 6:08 am
Another Judge who has lost the plot and left his brains in the gents toilet. People like this bloke are manipulators and keeping their sexual victim quiet...Is managed by threats of violence upon loved ones or victim. They are very sneaky, cunning and have no conscious or empathy for anyone but self. So he will force himself on some poor little victim with threats and more manipulative behaviour, nothing surer and what will this brain dead Judge say then?

Neill Abayon (665)
Friday November 29, 2013, 5:22 am
Noted and signed.

Sergio Padilla (63)
Sunday December 1, 2013, 5:28 pm
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