A woman has been sentenced to life in prison after she “forced” a 13-year-old boy to touch her breast.
The 34-year-old Nevada woman was accused of kissing a friend’s 13-year-old son in 2008, asking him if he would have sex with her and placing his hand on her breast. She denied the charges, saying she was drunk and had not forced him to touch her.
The boy is said to be undergoing therapy after this ordeal.
In a week-long trial, she was convicted of lewdness with a minor under 14 and ordered to serve a life sentence, based on Nevada’s mandatory minimum sentence for this class of crime. She will be eligible for parole in 10 years.
Jurors were not allowed to know that she faced a life sentence if convicted.
Even the judge appeared aghast at the sentence he handed down, saying he had no choice to impose a life sentence but was not sure why the prosecution was insisting on charges under laws which would attract the minimum sentencing requirement (they could have charged her with a lesser offence).
The district attorney who prosecuted her defends the sentence, saying she was “convicted of precisely of what she did” and that the sentence is simply in line with state mandatory minimum sentences.
There is some dispute over why she was not offered a plea bargain.
The defence claims the district attorney did not offer a plea bargain, whilst the district attorney claims she did not want to negotiate a plea bargain as she felt being forced to register as a sex offender would ruin the rest of her life more surely than a conviction would.
However, even if released on parole she would now have to register as a sex offender.
The defence asserts that this extreme sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment:
“This is cruel and unusual punishment. She put his hand on her boob while she was wearing a bra, now she’s getting life.”
The defence notes that “she is getting a greater penalty for having a boy touch her breast than if she killed him.”