After 16-Month Sentence From Jackson, Child Rapist Accused of Sex Abuse

After 16-Month Sentence From Jackson, Child Rapist Accused of Sex Abuse After 16-Month Sentence From Jackson, Child Rapist Accused of Sex Abuse

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson attends a meeting on her nomination to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court on April 4, 2022, on Capitol Hill. (Jin Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

By Nicole Wells | Monday, 04 April 2022 07:08 PM

Just days before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on advancing Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate, her handling of a child rapist's case has surfaced in a flurry of court filings and transcripts sent to the panel on Friday.

While Republicans have previously called attention to Jackson's penchant for handing down what they see as light sentences in child pornography cases, the Leo Weekes case has also called into question her treatment of rapists.

According to the New York Post, Weekes was convicted in 2010 of raping his 13-year-old niece four years before and was sentenced to 16 months in jail and four years of supervised probation. He was also required to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

Weekes didn't register and, after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to do so, was brought before Jackson — a federal judge in Washington at the time — for sentencing in February 2014.

Prosecutors requested a two-year sentence for Weekes, with five years of supervised release, while Weekes' lawyer asked for a maximum sentence of 10 months, plus three years of supervised release, the Post reports.

Jackson said there was no evidence that Weekes had been deliberately evading probation officers, though she acknowledged he had ''gotten a number of breaks, perhaps undeservedly so” in the earlier case.

''I do believe that criminal history is having a disproportionate impact on the sentence that the guidelines prescribe in this particular case in light of what you actually did here,” Jackson said, before sentencing Weekes to 12 months, with credit for time served, according to the transcript.

Court documents show that he was released five months later.

In June 2015 — when he would have been in prison if prosecutors had had their way — Weekes found himself in trouble with the law again, according to the Post.

While his sister-in-law was babysitting for his wife, Weekes allegedly plied her with liquor and allegedly touched her, trying to pull her leggings down three separate times, according to a D.C. police report that was cited by federal prosecutors.

On the third attempt, Weekes allegedly ''was able to digitally penetrate her vagina with his fingers and then tried to perform oral sex on her,” according to the report.

The sister-in-law then punched Weekes in the head, stopping the alleged attack.

Weekes was arrested and charged with first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, the Post reports, however, the charge was dropped after his sister-in-law would not cooperate with police or testify before a grand jury.

Prosecutors said Weekes paid her $2,500 to make the matter disappear.

In March 2016, he pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court to obstruction of justice and failing to register as a sex offender and received simultaneous sentences of five years and six months, respectively.

According to the Post, Weekes appeared before Jackson again in February 2017 for sentencing on probation violations.

The prosecutor reminded Jackson of her previous sentence and asked for two years to be added on to the end of his D.C. sentence.

Jackson disagreed, requiring that the 24-month sentence partially overlap his sentence in connection with the attack on his sister-in-law.

For Jackson's confirmation hearing, the Biden administration provided the Judiciary Committee with information on seven cases where she had handed down sentences that were below what prosecutors and probation officers has asked for.

''At [Jackson's confirmation] hearing, senators rightly raised concerns about the consequences of light sentences for sex offenders,” a Republican Judiciary Committee aide told the Post on Saturday. ''As this case sadly illustrates, those concerns aren't theoretical.

''Had the judge imposed the sentence recommended by the government, this child rapist would have been behind bars when he sexually assaulted another family member,” the aide continued. ''Judge Jackson's personal policy preferences steered her judgement.”

Original Article