Judge Re-Sentences Limestone County Rapist; Still No Jail Time
ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – A Limestone County judge has re-sentenced a man convicted of rape, after his first sentence was highly criticized. However, the new sentence doesn’t appear any stiffer.
On Monday, December 23, Judge Jimmy Woodroof sentenced Austin Smith Clem to time served in jail and five years of probation.
In the re-sentencing, Clem was re-sentenced to 15 years for one count of first-degree and 10 years for each of the two counts of second-degree rape, but those sentences would only be in effect if he violates his probation. This, according to our news partners The Huntsville Times/al.com.
Clem was convicted back in September.
In the initial sentencing in November, Judge Jimmy Woodroof initial order was to split Clem’s sentence, requiring him to only serve two years in community corrections and three years of supervised probation.
This, after he was convicted of one count of first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree rape.
The initial sentence received an outcry of criticism, especially from Clem’s victim and her family. Courtney Andrews identified herself to speak out about the sentencing. Clem was convicted of raping her when she was 14 and again at 18.
WHNT News 19 spoke with Courtney’s father, Richard Andrews, about the new sentence on Monday.
“We are disgusted,” Andrews said. “We are trying to enjoy Christmas as a family and then this happens, we have no idea what the judge is thinking. It’s ridiculous.”
WHNT News 19 also spoke with Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones about the new sentence. Jones immediately filed a motion to re-sentence, saying the new sentencing is illegal. Jones claims the initial 20-year sentence was valid and under Alabama law, cannot be changed to a 15-year sentence, albeit split. He asks the judge to set aside the amended sentence and re-sentence Clem consistent with the provisions of Alabama law.
Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel has followed this case closely over the years. McDaniel does not see the judge overseeing the appeals ever adding more jail time for Clem.
“(Judge Jimmy) Woodroof was in the courtroom he listened to all of the facts in this case, what the public has seen is headlines, and even if his decision is not popular he is the judge,” McDaniel told WHNT News 19 Monday evening.