Victim Speaks Out About Convicted Rapist’s Sentencing

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Courtney Andrews says she was waiting for the day her convicted rapist would be sentenced, when the years of fear and stress and sleepless nights would be over.

But on Wednesday, she and her family left the courtroom confused and angry, and Wednesday night, Andrews got little sleep.

Andrews, now 20, testified that her former friend and neighbor, Austin Clem,  sexually abused her when she was 13-years-old, then raped her twice when she was 14, and again at 18.

The jury convicted Clem of one count of Rape in the 1st degree, and two counts of Rape in the 2nd, on September 11th.

During sentencing in Limestone County on Wednesday, Judge Jimmy Woodroof chose to “split” the sentence, requiring that Clem only serve two years in the community corrections program and three years on supervised probation.

“Yeah people know who he is, and that he’s dangerous, but he still gets to do what he wants. He gets to work, be with his kids, be with his family, live life,” said Andrews.”It just smacks me in the face. It’s like you did all of this and put your stoyr out there for him just to walk. and it hurts.”

Andrews recalls, when the sentence was read her attorney jumped up, questioning the legality of the sentence for a Class A Felony, but Woodroof stood by the sentence.

Our news partners at Al.com report, according to Alabama law, first-degree rape, a Class A felony, would have a sentencing range 10 to 99 years in prison. Second-degree rape, a Class B felony, has a range of two to 10 years in prison. Judges do have the option to “split” a sentence.

Andrews and her family say they are trying to determine what steps to take next.

“I get to go back to Mobile, but my family has to stay here,” said Andrews. “I shouldn’t have to worry about my family over a guy that hurt me so badly because he’s not in prison where he needs to be. Because really that’s all that’s going to save anybody from him.”

12 comments

  • Sue

    This is OUTRAGEOUS the way these sex offenders just walk away with such ridiculous sentences. Why is the sentence so low when it looks like the guidelines are MUCH higher? Courtney, my prayers are with you and your family. Maybe he will.get his real justice in prison.

  • steve

    its a shame but that’s the way goes we had a daughter murdered but becaue of a plea bargain the man never went to trial and the people should had the right to know what he did to her and they call it justice

  • Disa

    Eddie braxton johhnson…you are part of the problem, I pray you never have someone forcibly violate you and then threaten to kill your parents if you tell them it happened. A guilty verdict was rendered by a jury and a Community Corrections sentence for a forcible rape conviction is reprehensible and should be considered legal malpractice as far as I’m concerned.

    • Duane A. Webb

      “Disa” is there A N Y evidence whatsoever that would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that either her or her family was threatened?

      I didn’t think so.

      You show trial panic-junkies think you can run the game with your twitting twits, and petition drives, and pity based “Rapey” nonsense.

      Talk is cheap. This is just another no-evidence accuser who needs to PROVE! that she was raped instead of simply stating that she was.

      You take up a cause for yet another Steubenville copy-cat who has absolutely no evidence and start collecting signatures with the INTENT to interfere with or influence the Public Courts in the U.S. and you are simply asking for legal trouble.

  • lukebandit

    The higher court has to overturn his ruling. It is mandatory 10 years minimum to 99 yrs. on a Felony 1 rape. Felony 2 is mandatory 2 minimum to 10 years. He should of gotten minimum 14 years! Why would this judge do this? WHY? If he rapes anyone else while he is out, what is the judge going to do? He needs to be removed from office, stripped of his State Pension and kick his jack wagon behind out of the courthouse door. Just horrible, Just horrible. #JusticeForCourtney

  • Duane A. Webb

    And did Courtney have ANY evidence whatsoever aside from her ‘word only’ accusation?

    He needs to appeal on this (likely) premeditated liar who has a petition drive just waiting to take her lies even further by interfering/influencing the courts to mete out what it considers Justice.

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