Judge Re-Sentences Limestone County Rapist; Still No Jail Time

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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.


  • athens citizen

    This judge is a good man and I’m sure he had his reasons for the sentence, the public will never know what really happened in the case so it is not our place to bad mouth the judge.

  • Chuckie39

    Does this guy have something on the judge, or what? Looks like this judge needs to move to another line of work.

  • Disa

    The judge obviously either doesn’t understand the law regarding sentencing or he has a problem upholding the law in this particular case. Either way, he deserves sentencing. The law is the law and it’s a judge’s responsibility to see that it is upheld….even in things like sentencing.

  • Wake Up

    This is typical southern justice. Harsh sentences are not intended for people that look like him. The libraries are full of documented research showing the racial and economic disparities in sentencing. Blind justice is not really very blind!

    • Saul Alinsky

      wakeup ,this judge is one of us , if Valerie, Michelle, and Barack like him , people like you and me should also.

    • Sue

      I believe there are so many rape cases that unless the victim is killed the judge does not take it seriously. Of course a lot of rapist do kill the victim so she will not identify them. So most of these despicable cowards are not caught! Since the victim is put through another court “rape” – of another kind trying to blame her- a lot of victims do not report it. It is one of the worse crimes leaving the victim with a life of fear and nightmares. Do the judges ever think about that? or do they go on with their life while the victim looks behind her all the time watching for the coward to come after her for testifying? They are just let out to hunt their prey. Some just make it a lifetime career. Totally disgraceful!!!


    wonder if this so called judge would be so easy if it had been his daughter they should fire this so called judge

  • carolineredbrook

    Courtney is to be highly commended for her bravery in coming forward to expose this ridiculous sentencing on the part of Judge Woodroof as crimes against children are so heinous that accused pedophiles like Clem, Sylvain Kustyan, Jerry Sandusky, etc. must be apprehended before they have years to continue to destroy young lives. Sandusky is now safely behind bars. But unfortunately, Kustyan, who has been formally charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Sodomy and Sexual Abuse of a ten-year-old little boy, fled to avoid imminent arrest. Kustyan, formerly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Hermin/ Mazingarbe, France,as an English teacher, has led numerous groups of schoolchildren on trips to the US, the UK and Ireland.. Pedophiles condemn their victims to a lifetime of emotional and psychological trauma and often permanent physical ailments as well. Since the average pedophile has 300 different victims in their lifetime and since the recidivism rate among pedophiles is virtually 100% and since there is no effective treatment and no known cure they must be stopped ASAP!

  • Landslug

    His laywer (Dan Totten) said: “There’s always two sides to the story.”
    Not when the girl is THIRTEEN, scumbag!

    Now he’s complaining that he cant buy lottery tickets & beer.. boo freakin hoo.

    But the judge & his lawyer are pals, so go figure. Someone needs to make sure everyone knows how Dan Totten feels about other people’s daughters, and makes sure he doesnt sleep at night. You dont blame 13 year olds for their own rape

  • jamison-jones

    The problem here is nothing but the FAMILY. I mean the family seems to think that everything needs to be seen their way! I’ve followed this case and both the defendant and plaintiff are very interesting individuals. Neighbors, friends of the family and for some reason, the girl seems very scorned. I applaud this judge for reading between the lines of this case, The facts of this case were presented and quite frankly, its more of a revenge, vendetta type thing from the family. Well, the law doesn’t work that way. Go on with your lives and leave the man alone. H

  • jamison-jones

    I know lots of women who use the courts and law enforcement to harass their spouses.Cases like in domestic violence.. half the time the aggressors are women but cuz the law, in this case the POLICE, favor the women so many times, the men have to wait till they go before a judge and jury to explain themselves! If the guys have so much to lose by being in jail, they just plead guilty to get it over with. Those who go to trial, 3/4 of the time, they’ve won. Its cheaper to stay out of jail if you have commitments! This family is no different. They can’t get their ‘fix’ so they harass the justice system!

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