A Utah judge is coming under fire for calling a convicted rapist "an extraordinarily good man," as he was sentencing him during his hearing last week.
Mic reports that Keith Robert Vallejo, a former Mormon bishop who has been found guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, was still praised by Utah judge Thomas Low, despite the fact that he was being sentenced to life in prison. (Confused? Same.)
"The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man," Low said in court. "But great men sometimes do bad things."
Low's comments likely came as a result of the 50 letters submitted to the court in defense of Vallejo's character. Vallejo also still maintains his innocence, and his brother testified during the hearings, saying he had been wrongfully convicted.
As you'd expect, the 23-year-old victim Julia Kirby was not happy about Low's remarks, "He only cared about the person he was convicting, and I think that is really kind of despicable," she told the Associated Press. Kirby has also said that she plans to file an official complaint against Low, asking for him to be removed as a judge.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that victim-blaming has been part of the court proceedings when it comes to cases of sexual assault and rape. Canadian Judge Robert Camp resigned recently after asking a woman why she "couldn't keep her knees shut."
We're kind of amazed it even still needs to be said, but we'll reiterate: the pitying of convicted rapists has got to stop - it sends a message to victims that their traumatic experiences are invalid, and perpetuates toxic rape culture.