Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2005

Sex-offender arrested for violating probation

April 7, 2005

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One of three men who received probation in the controversial 2003 rape of an intoxicated 13-year-old girl will be back in court today to face an allegation he's not living up to terms of his probation.

William N. Haney, 20, Lawrence, was arrested Wednesday night on a probation-violation warrant and will appear before Judge Paula Martin at 1:30 p.m.

Judge Martin's decision to put Haney on probation came despite a probation officer's pre-sentencing recommendation that Haney was "not a strong candidate" to succeed on probation.

Now, probation officers allege Haney has violated terms of his probation by:

  • Failing to notify probation officers before leaving his home.
  • Arriving late or failing to show up for scheduled meetings at the Community Corrections office.
  • Failing to complete community service
  • Missing sex-offender treatment appointments
  • Associating with a "known offender"

Judge Martin withstood an effort to vote her off the bench in the November election after she lightened sentences for Haney and three other men convicted of having sex with the 13-year-old girl at a late-night gathering in June 2003.

Normally rape-- whether it's physically forced or statutory -- carries a minimum penalty of about 13 years in prison. But Martin broke from sentencing guidelines based on a provision in state law that allows judges to lighten the sentence if they find "substantial and compelling" reasons.

Martin said the harm the girl suffered was less than the harm suffered by some rape victims. Other reasons she cited included the ages of the people involved and a finding that the girl was an active participant in the night's events.

"On the night of his incident, the victim was drinking," Martin said at Haney's sentencing. "She was not an inexperienced drinker by her testimony... The evidence shows the victim to be an active participant. There were no threats. There was no force. There were no weapons used. There was no cajoling. The victim requested a condom be used and condoms were produced and used."

Martin said she'd also considered a psychologist's findings that Haney posed no threat to society and was immature and impulsive. She said that one goal of the sentencing guidelines is to reserve prison space for violent offenders to reduce overcrowding.

Martin ordered Haney to serve 60 days in jail, do 500 hours of community service and be on probation for five years.

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