Judge Says Child Molester Is Too Short For Prison
Attorney General Will Appeal Sentence
POSTED: 8:23 am CDT May 26, 2006
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The sentence of probation for a man the judge said was too short to go to prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl will be appealed by Attorney General Jon Bruning.
Bruning said the sentence of 5-foot-1-inch tall Richard Thompson is far too lenient. Bruning said his office will file the appeal within the next two weeks.
The case was drawing international attention, with crime victim advocates decrying the sentence and supporters of short people saying it's about time someone recognized the challenges they face.
Thompson was sentenced in Cheyenne County District Court on Tuesday to 10 years probation on two felony sexual assault charges.
The Cheyenne County district judge in the case said in her ruling that Thompson deserved a long prison sentence for his crimes, but gave him probation because she believed he was too short to survive in prison.
State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha said he's baffled by the probation sentence. Chambers said if shortness serves to protection criminals from going to prison, short people "ought to rob banks and do everything else they would wind up going to prison for."
Chambers said shortness is not a defense, especially in crimes against children.