Judge Offers Rapist Lighter Sentence If Victim Agrees To Payout

Special District Court Judge Bruce Bennett said that the sentence empowers the victim to help determine punishment.

Baton Rouge, LA – A fill-in Louisiana judge offered to potentially reduce a convicted rapist’s prison sentence if the victim agreed to accept a $150,000 payout from her attacker.

Sedrick Hills, 44, was originally charged with forcible rape and another sexual assault-related offense in 2014, stemming from an attack on a 15-year-old girl in 2003, The Advocate reported.

DNA evidence tied Hills to the offense, and he was convicted in August of 2018.

Hills appeared before Special District Court Judge Bruce Bennett for sentencing on Nov. 7.

Bennett called Hills’ offense “reprehensible,” and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, FOX News reported.

The judge then floated the idea of reducing the sentence in the event the victim wanted to accept $150,000 from Hills instead.

"This will not be considered to be an extortionary offer," Bennett noted, according to The Advocate.

The victim, now 31, told the court that she was left “broken” in the wake of the rape.

"This whole experience has been like a movie – but a bad movie – a horror movie," she explained. "I've been fighting this over half my life. I'm tired. I'm angry. Stuff like this deteriorates a person. It deteriorates who I am. I'm still trying to figure out who I am."

The woman asked Bennett to sentence Hills to at least 16 years in prison – the same number of years that she said had been stolen from her since the attack.

"I don't think money is going to provide any restitution for what he's done," she said.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said that the victim has never requested financial compensation from her attacker.

“The victim wants jail time and no financial compensation from him,” Moore reiterated.

In a supplemental court filing on Wednesday, Bennett explained that he brought up the idea of a potential financial payout in an effort to further empower the victim, The Advocate reported.

"If this mitigation alternative is offensive to the victim, she simply needs to do nothing," the judge noted. “If the defendant deposits the funds, she is at least partially empowered to control her own economic destiny and receive compensation for this reprehensible and life-changing action.”

Bennett noted that a pre-sentence investigation report indicated that Hills may be involved in a civil lawsuit after being injured in a truck accident.

"I do not know if he has a civil case pending,” he wrote. “But if the defendant reaps a large amount of money, it seems unfair to me that he should emerge from prison with a windfall while the victim has received no compensation for her emotional injuries sustained as a result of the crime, as I have seen happen in so many other cases.”

The victim said she believes that the court “sincerely intended to empower and to help her,” Moore told The Advocate on Thursday.

“However, she feels that the way the sentence is structured implies that the defendant’s financial position could buy his way out of a part of his sentence," Moore added. “She also believes that the sentence structure perpetuates the income disparity issue in the criminal justice system. This sentence puts her in the personal dilemma of choosing time versus money, which is a tough position for her given the high human cost that she has suffered and will continue to suffer.”

Should Hills opt to deposit $150,000 with the district attorney’s office in the future – and if the victim decides to accept that payment – the court would still have the ability to grant Hills “a modest reduction of time,” Bennett wrote in the supplemental filing.

"In my view, justice requires that the victim be afforded another opportunity to pursue this alternative avenue of seeking a more satisfactory form of personal and social justice," the judge added. “[She] is now empowered in some measure by this court to control the progress of this defendant's punishment and her own future."

Bennett served nearly three decades as a 21st Judicial District Court judge before he retired in 2015, The Advocate reported.

He was serving as an ad hoc judge for Hills’ sentencing after another judge retired, and his appointment as the 19th Judicial District Court judge has since expired.

Comments (34)
No. 1-16
Teijeiro2
Teijeiro2

WOULDN'T THAT MAKE HER A "WHORE"? Was that this "judge's" INTENT?

Woobie46
Woobie46

This low life judge is damp. How dare he insult a victim of rape with a financial pay-off? And good on you, victim, for NOT jumping at the opportunity to make some chump change. And who the F is this guy that has $150K to just hand over? Bet he doesn't have it and I bet he never will. HE IS A F*CKING RAPIST. JAIL HIM FOR AT LEAST 16 YEARS~!

Memere
Memere

Wow I can't believe how this has turned ugly. I feel the judge was being considerate. He did not say she had to do this. It was an offer. I feel that she has some options where in some courts the rape victim has no voice. We only know what the media is reporting on how this took place, but from what I read the judge was concerned about the victim.

BTW taking the deal DOES NOT make her a whore! Only asinine people would make it look that way!

Just-My-Thoughts.
Just-My-Thoughts.

Rapist needs to go directly to jail after being castrated. Oh hell, do it the way the cowboys do it to calves.....out in a field w/o any thing to numb them.....That'll work.

Leoliker
Leoliker

Isn't she entitled to initiate a civil suit for compensation? If he has money, why would she not sue him AND still want appropriate prison time? And, btw, imo neither 12 years of 16 years is enough.

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

“How would you like to restructure the event as you turning-a-trick? It’s a great pay day and all it will cost is what’s left of your dignity!” Would the judge put this angle to his own daughter? Like f**k he would!

Gretagarbo
Gretagarbo

So he’ll be out sooner to do it to someone else?

Grog
Grog

The fact this judge used the term "social justice" should be enough to never allow him to hear another case! He's just another liberal, activist POS! She's a victim of a crime, not a prostitute! How about social justice for her????????

Ladytiel
Ladytiel

Another liberal judge whose belief is going easy on predators. She was a victim and a child under the law. This idiotic judge would rather make her into a prostitute instead of giving this guy a very long sentenced. He is a sexual predator and no doubt a child pedophile. The judge should be voted out of office and disbarred.

DSmith2018
DSmith2018

How would the good judge like to be held down and poked a few times in his rear end and be offered a few bucks???

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Maybe judge had her best interest at heart..but he sure went about it the wrong way. Hope she can get the help she needs to have a good life after what this pos rapist did to her..and file her own civil suit against him n take his windfall

wallywoo3
wallywoo3

I don't understand the option the judge is giving....WHY IN THE F@#$ can't he sentence the ASSHOLE rapist to at least 16 yrs. and add to the sentence that "upon the rapist receiving a settlement from his lawsuit, he is to pay the victim $150,000" ? The victim deserves that AND MORE....I was raped when I was 13 yrs. old by a guy who was 18.....and I was put in front of a grand jury, alone, WITHOUT my attorney present and was literally raked over the coals......they asked me questions like "DID YOU ENJOY IT? DID YOU HELP HIM? DID YOU ENCOURAGE HIM?" He was sentenced to 3 mo. in jail and 2 yrs. probation....AND AS FOR ME? I HAVE LIVED IN HELL ALL THESE YEARS....from day 1 his girlfriend and her friends would follow me around school calling me all sorts of names and then would follow me home from the school bus stop harassing me, throwing rocks at me and even surrounding me and beating the crap out of me....and NOTHING was ever done to any of them......then when the guy got out of jail he would constantly go by my house and stare at me and laugh at me if I was outside....I ended up moving to my grandparents house about 70 miles away....I became very withdrawn and even contemplated suicide...thank God I didn't try it.....this was in 1961 and I have had nightmares, been in counseling, and NOTHING has taken away the horror I went through....

asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

Hey judge, what if it was your family member that was raped? What would you recommend they do?

ToniG
ToniG

Proud of the victim for standing her ground and wanting him to stay in prison. WTF is wrong with the judge thinking accepting money for what he did took from her would empower her?!!!

BrevardMarc27
BrevardMarc27

The perp needs to start a minimum sentence of 15-20.

If the victim wishes to pursue a civil suit, let her.
She’s entitled to do that.

The “deal” proposed by the judge is totally improper.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Another entitled, bleeding heart, hug-a-thug, liberal judge.