CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WFLA/CNN) — Two teenage boys weren’t registered as sex offenders and one was spared jail time after pleading guilty of raping a 15-year-old Tennessee girl.
The girl said two 13-year-old boys she thought were friends held her down in a Clarksville home as they raped her and filmed it.
“I didn’t want to say because, like, I was afraid nobody’s gonna believe me,” the girl told WZTV.
Clarksville police investigated the incident, found the video evidence, and the family went through the court process expecting justice.
“All of them did absolutely fantastic work until it came down to the moment where we were going to get something back by knowing that they would have at least some sort of punishment for the things they did to my daughter,” the girls dad said. “And it couldn’t happen because of the way the law is written.”
The law he’s referring to is the Juvenile Reform Act.
In an email to the family from the assistant district attorney, they quote parts of the act saying one of the boys would spend six months in juvenile detention because he had a criminal past. But the other, who had no criminal past, would serve probation at home for six months.
Additionally, neither will have to register as a sex offender because they’re under 14.
State Representative Jason Hodges heard the family’s story and wants to change the law.
“Obviously as a father I was disgusted and as a citizen of that community I was disgusted,” Hodges said. “You know rape is obviously a serious offense and whether you’re 13 or 30 you should know better.”
Hodges is working on two bills, one that would allow kids 13 and under to be charged as an adult for rape and another that would have them put on the sex offender’s registry at a judge’s discretion.