UPDATE: Judge claims money from rapist was meant to help empower victim

State News

UPDATE: BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — (11/15/19) A judge has defended his reasoning for suggesting that a rapist pay his victim $150,000 in exchange for a possibly reduced sentence.

The Advocate reports Special Judge Bruce Bennett filed a court document saying his unsolicited offer was meant to help the victim of Sedrick Hills, should she accept it. He said the funds would at least “partially empower” her to control her “economic destiny.” His offer last week surprised the defense and prosecutors, and the victim immediately refused it, saying she doesn’t want any amount of money from her attacker.

The now 31-year-old woman was raped in 2003 when she was 15. She told the court Hills took 16 years from her life and asked Bennett to take the same from him. He was sentenced to 12 years.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com


UPDATE: BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — (11/8/19) A Louisiana rape victim says she will not accept a judge’s offer to reduce her assailant’s sentence if the man pays her $150,000.

The woman said outside court Thursday that she doesn’t want any amount of money from her attacker.

State District Judge Bruce Bennett had just sentenced 44-year-old Sedrick Hills to 12 years in prison when he made the offer to reduce the time if the woman agreed to cash restitution. The Advocate reports the suggestion took prosecutors and the defense by surprise.

Hills was convicted last year of raping the woman in 2003 when she was 15.

The 31-year-old woman had read her impact statement in court, saying Hills took at least 16 years of her life. She asked the judge to take the same from him.


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — (11/8/19) A Louisiana judge who sentenced a rapist to 12 years in prison said he’d reduce the time if the rapist pays the victim $150,000.

The offer offended the woman, who said outside court Thursday that she doesn’t want any amount of money from her attacker. She had just read her impact statement in court, saying that 44-year-old Sedrick Hills took at least 16 years of her life away by raping her. She asked the judge to take the same from him.

Hills was convicted last year of raping her in 2003 when she was 15.

The Advocate reports that both prosecutors and the defense were surprised by Judge Bruce Bennett’s offer to reduce the time if the woman agreed to cash restitution.

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