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Criminal Appeals Court Upholds Lighter Sentence for Convicted Rapist Austin Clem

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Austin Clem

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a convicted rapist’s controversial sentence that did not include jail time, according to our news partners at The Huntsville Times/

25-year-old Austin Smith Clem’s rape case drew national attention last year after he was convicted in September of first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree rape.

Limestone County Judge James Woodroof initially sentenced Clem to 20 years in prison for the first-degree rape charge but then split the sentence, ordering Clem to serve two years in community corrections and three years probation.

After the November sentencing, DA Brian Jones petitioned the Court of Criminal Appeals on grounds that a first-degree rape charge should include jail time in the sentencing phase.

The Court ordered Clem to be re-sentenced in late November 2013.  In December of 2013 Woodroof  issued a new sentence that was lighter than the initial sentence.

Clem was sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree rape but Woodroof split the sentence to time served and placed Clem on five years of supervised probation.  The sentence did not include jail time or time in community corrections.

Jones once again filed an appeal but this time the court sided with Woodroof’s sentence.

“We’re trying to decide what action to take,” Jones said this morning to “I talked to the family (of the victim) last night and we’re going to get together today and make a decision.”

We spoke with the victim in this case, Courtney Andrews back in November.  WHNT News 19 does not usually reveal the identity of rape victims, but Courtney gave permission for her name to be used in the story.


  • jamison jones

    Man get a life! Sometimes i hate the justice system but this is one of those rare occasions that i applaud the system. This family is out for nothing but blackmail and extortion. There is nothing else you can do. Move on. What do you want? We know the facts of this case. its over. Get over it.

  • Sue

    He is a RAPIST! Stop wasting the court’s time and give him the maximum time possible! If he is free he will do this to other girls. Throw this trash in prison. Maybe he will get the reward that prison will briing and he will get what he gave! See how much he enjoys it! No sympathy for RAPIST on my part,!!!

  • Donna Bailes

    Mr. Jones, you obviously don’t have daughters or perhaps any children . This man has 2 young daughters. I for one don’t think he should be allowed in supervised with them. If this was your daughter I think your attitude would be different. Don’t know what this judges problem is. Perhaps he has ssympathy for rapists for some reason. But he is totally off the mark on this one

  • jamison jones

    The justice systme doesn’t work at this family’s whims. There is a process and a conclusion. You might not like the outcome but sometimes things are like that……..besides the whole story of this case is really funny. its all blackmail.

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