27 Mar 14-Year-Old Rape Victim Sees Justice In Tulsa Courtroom
TULSA, Oklahoma –
A 14-year-old girl who was walking home and brutally raped by a 15 year old, spoke in court Tuesday for the first time since the attack 18 months ago.
She asked the judge to punish her rapist as much as he punished her that day. Her statement was heart breaking.
She cried as she told the judge the details of the attack and how it’s changed her life. Judge Kurt Glasco listened with compassion and then gave her the justice she was seeking.
The victim and suspect had skipped school and smoked some pot with friends. The two of them were walking home when, according to court records, the suspect shoved the victim into a tree. “[He] then began punching her in the face with a closed fist and strangling her by placing, at different times, his hands, forearms and feet against her throat as well as sitting on her chest, causing severe hemorrhaging, asphyxiation and suffocation.” He then raped her, twice.
“This was a level above what you think of when you think of rape, when you think of stranger rape, think of assault. This is above and beyond what anybody can dream up in your worst nightmare,” said Ben Fu, Assistant Tulsa County Prosecutor.
Prosecutors say Vaughn had five prior referrals to the juvenile system, including three burglaries. They argued the severity of the attack at such a young age, didn’t not bode well for his future.
“It’s clear, had the defendant been older, a grown adult, there would be no question he would serve the rest of his life in prison,” Fu said.
Vaughn’s attorney said there’s no excuse for what he did, but pointed out Vaughn had a rough upbringing, was smoking pot and taking pills at the time and had joined a gang at 14. But he was taking responsibility for his crimes by pleading guilty.
It was clear, everyone believed sentencing such a young man was a monumental decision, but prosecutors asked for 35 years.
“We just believe at his age, the violence he visited upon another person was so severe, there’s no reason to wish that on the rest of our community,” Fu said.
Frank Vaughn also spoke to the judge Tuesday. He said he didn’t know why he did what he did and he told the victim he was sorry with all his soul and hoped she would one day forgive him. He told the judge, he deserved whatever sentence he got.
The judge said, “I just don’t know of anything else we can do for this young man.” With that, he sentenced the 16 year old to 40 years in prison on each rape count, to run at the same time.