Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Idaho judge rules 19-year-old rapist can't have sex until he's married

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 10:53 AM

click to enlarge Herrera - TWIN FALLS COUNTY JAIL
  • Twin Falls County Jail
  • Herrera

Rather than potentially serving more than a decade in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl, an Idaho man is barred from having sex until he gets married as a term of his probation.

Cody Duane Scott Herrera pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl in 2015. Judge Randy Stoker in Twin Falls, Idaho, sentenced Herrera, now 19, to 15 years, but suspended the sentence in favor of an alternative: a year-long therapeutic prison program. If Herrera completes the program and is placed on probation, he will not be allowed to have sex until he is married.

"If you're ever on probation with this court, a condition of that will be you will not have sexual relations with anyone except who you're married to, if you're married," Stoker told Herrera.

Herrera has reportedly had sex with 34 people, which factored into the judge's decision.

"I have never seen that level of sexual activity by a 19-year-old," Stoker said.

The ruling stems from Idaho's scarcely used fornication law. Enacted in 1972, the law criminalizes sex between two unmarried people of the opposite sex, punishable by a $300 fine and/or six months in jail. Legal experts question whether the celibacy mandate will withstand an appeal.

Shaakirrah Sanders, a professor at the University of Idaho College of Law, told the Associated Press that the ban on extramarital sex is unenforceable and a potential violation of Herrera's constitutional rights. Sanders acknowledged that judges have discretion in crafting conditions of probation, but added that those conditions cannot violate the state or federal constitution.

Herrera is still facing the possibility of more charges stemming from cell phone video of a another underage girl.
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