Church Camp Cook Rapes Girl, 13, Avoids Prison Because He Is ‘Legally Blind,’ Teen’s Family Agrees
Benjamin Lawrence Petty was convicted of raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl at the Falls Creek church camp in Sulphur, Oklahoma, in June 2016, but will not serve any jail time.
Instead, Petty will get 15 years on probation because Murray County Assistant District Attorney David Pyle said Petty is “legally blind” and did not insist on prison time, notes The Oklahoman:
The big thing is Mr. Petty is legally blind and the parents (of the victim) live out of state and this little girl lives out of state and didn’t want to make all the travels back and forth. The plea was negotiated with their permission.
District Judge Wallace Coppedge gave Petty the suspended sentence on Jan. 19 for first-degree rape, forcible sodomy and rape by instrumentation.
As part of his probation for his three felonies, Petty will have to to wear an ankle monitor for 24 months, register as a sex offender and obtain treatment (for an unspecified illness?).
Bruce Robertson, a lawyer who represents the teen in a civil case, said the family agreed to the plea agreement after “the family was told by the district attorney’s office that the rapist would not serve any meaningful prison time due to his medical conditions. Based on this representation, the family did not object to the probationary sentence.”
It’s not clear how “legally blind” rapists do not serve “meaningful prison time” for sexual felonies against minors in Oklahoma.
The teen’s family is suing the First Baptist Church of Terrell, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and The Country Estates Baptist Church for negligence in background checks of workers, failing to adequately supervise sponsors and camp participants, and failing to train them on how to recognize and avoid predators.
(Source: The Oklahoman)