In keeping with the “women who hate women” theme we sort of had going last week, let’s take a quick look at Arizona Judge Jacqueline Hatch. Judge Hatch, you see, presided over a recent case involving a Flagstaff, Arizona police officer who was found guilty of sexually abusing a woman in a bar. According to the Arizona Daily Sun,
Prosecutors contended that he drank eight beers and then drove himself to the Green Room, where he flashed his badge in an attempt to get into a concert for free. While inside, he walked up behind the victim, who was a friend of a friend, put his hand up her skirt and then ran his fingers across her genitals.
When bouncers threw him out, Evans told them he was a cop and they would be arrested.
The cop faced up to two years in jail for his assault. But Hatch apparently felt the officer, who’d lost his job and served four whole days in jail, had already been punished enough for his crime, and let him off with two years of probation.
She also gave the victim a patronizing little lecture. Again, according to the Daily Sun,
Bad things can happen in bars, Hatch told the victim, adding that other people might be more intoxicated than she was.
“If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said.
Hatch told the victim and the defendant that no one would be happy with the sentence she gave, but that finding an appropriate sentence was her duty.
“I hope you look at what you’ve been through and try to take something positive out of it,” Hatch said to the victim in court. “You learned a lesson about friendship and you learned a lesson about vulnerability.”
Hatch said that the victim was not to blame in the case, but that all women must be vigilant against becoming victims.
“When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.
As a Coconino County Superior Court judge, it is my responsibility to ensure that all victims and defendants are treated fairly and in a respectful manner in the courtroom. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously. I also believe victims should not be blamed for coming forward to report crimes.
In a recent case, my in-court comments to the victim at sentencing did not further these important tenets. My comments were poorly communicated and for that, I am truly sorry if they caused the victim further distress.
No, you communicated pretty clearly. The problem is what you communicated.