TX Man to Do 320 Hrs Needlework - for Sexual Assault

Started by TerryGale, Aug 06, 2005, 02:59 PM

previous topic - next topic
Go Down


It sounds like he was frightened into entering a no contest plea on something they might not have proven if it'd gone to trial.
Texan Sentenced to Do 320 Hours of Needlework
LAST UPDATE: 8/6/2005 10:53:40 AM
This story is available on your cell phone at mobile.woai.com (Go to article for this link).

HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) - An ex-convict who pleaded no contest to sexually abusing his daughter was sentenced to crochet afghans as part of the community service requirement of his probation.

Despite an outcry over the seemingly lenient sentence, the prosecutor in the case said he had been ready to dismiss it for lack of evidence.

During a dispute over custody of the child, Norma de la Torre accused her ex-husband, Robert Wayne Thompson, of sexually abusing their 8-year-old daughter. She filed civil and criminal cases against him.

Thompson had served five years in prison in Virginia for sexual assault.

But the criminal case became shaky when the girl told the judge in the civil case that her mother had told her to say Thompson abused her.

So state District Judge Rose Guerra Reyna, in the criminal case, agreed to a plea bargain in July that required Thompson to register as a sex offender, be under probation - and spend 320 hours crocheting afghans.

Thompson likes to crochet - he's made numerous such small blankets for wheelchair-bound patients at hospitals and nursing homes. Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said crocheting was chosen because Thompson is disabled with a heart condition and couldn't do anything strenuous.

Dianne Clements of Justice for All, a victims' rights group, told CNN "The judge lost her mind." The (McAllen) Monitor ran five letters critical of the judge and received several more.

Guerra Reyna has not responded to critics of the sentence because the judicial code prohibits her from speaking about it.

But a colleague, retired state District Judge Fernando Mancias, said she considered it fair because no one could prove the allegations against Thompson.

De la Torre could not be reached for comment.

Thompson said he pleaded no contest in the criminal case at the advice of his two public defenders.

"The judge just took it because it was presented by the district attorney, and I accepted it," Thompson told The Associated Press.

His attorneys did not immediately return calls for comment.

Guerra, the prosecutor, said he couldn't prove the case.

"We have some conflicts in testimony and evidence." he said. "I had authorized dismissal. My staff in lieu of dismissal put him under supervision and he would also be required to register.
I Googled his name, because I thought I had heard something on talk radio or the TV about a man they'd been concerned about who was going to be jailed a long time, but needed a heart transplant.  This does not seem to be the same man, but when I Googled, I found a blog where AOL-ers were having their way with this.  http://journals.aol.com/armandt/sense/entries/696
Probably the state became concerned about the anticipated expense of long-term care of a medically fragile individual - considering the case was shaky to begin with.


Unbelievable. More legal bullshit and more bullshit by prosecutors.


But a colleague, retired state District Judge Fernando Mancias, said she considered it fair because no one could prove the allegations against Thompson.

How the hell is this fair....... :shock:
Even a whole village can't replace dad, children need both parents.

The Biscuit Queen

What happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty? Good grief. And who the heck are these lawyers who are telling him to plea?!
he Biscuit Queen

There are always two extremes....the truth lies in the middle.


Quote from: "The Biscuit Queen"
And who the heck are these lawyers who are telling him to plea?!

We've got a news article on one side, and on the other side a lawyer who provided advice based on the current status of the law, and on what his or her opinion was as to the probably outcome.  The client always decides.

Maybe they knew more than you - being in the real case, and not just reading a news article.


By this time, I would imagine everyone should know someone who was painted within the press in an entirely different light then who they were, hence having the knowledge that the headline only tells a fragment of the story.

The news is not "the gospel".

Go Up