A recent hot topic crossed my feed: A New Jersey family court judge showed leniency to a 16-year-old teen who raped a 16-year-old girl and proceeded to broadcast it to his inner circle of friends because he believed the teen came from a "good family". Thankfully, an appeals court overturned his decision and bashed him for even considering to show leniency.
The judge, James Troiano, also defended the perpetrator's character by saying that that his grades and extracurriculars are excellent and that he would probably attend a good college in the future. Those facts are completely irrelevant to the case and Troiano's choice to show mercy based on those facts completely disregards the physical and emotional trauma the victim endured. In case you did not know already, rape is a crime, no matter the form or scale. In my opinion, rape should be considered worse than murder. It is completely possible to accidentally kill another person, in which case the perpetrator acted without malice. On the other hand, one can never accidentally rape, and rape is always done with a selfish intent to satisfy an uncontrollable libido.
Rape changes the life of each victim, and never for the better. Some victims may find it especially hard to deal with the invasion of privacy, desecration of their dignity, and the physical and emotional trauma incurred, and may never fully recover for a very long time. Any person who rapes deserves to be punished to the fullest extent by the law and be treated as an adult. So if you're a judge who believes that rape can only be done with two or more males holding the victim at gunpoint until the deed is done, your schema and understanding of what rape is are clearly screwed up. Furthermore, you are in no position to have the audacity to not just dismiss the victim's emotional and physical distress from the assault but condemn the prosecution for potentially ruining the defendant's life. This is incorrect; the rapist already ruined their life by raping that girl.
I'm personally disgusted to see rapists go unpunished by judges, especially shown in other high-profile cases. This will not only have the effect of causing the victim and their family to lose trust in the judicial system but also encourage the rapist to continue assaulting more victims as they know they can get away. This needs to stop, period. I'll say it now and I'll say it again: if you show leniency to a rapist, you support rape.