An angry crowd gathered outside of the Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday to protest the expected light sentence for a juvenile corrections counselor who raped a 15-year-old girl in a Manhattan Family Court building.
In an exclusive interview with the PIX11 News, the victim spoke out against her attacker, Tony Simmons. On the day the girl was due in Manhattan Family Court, Simmons was in charge of escorting her to the hearing. After boarding the elevator together, however, Simmons hit the down button and took her to the basement of the building instead. Simmons brutally raped her, and then took her back in the elevator to her court appearance.
She says she went numb as it happened but afterward realized incredulously, "Ok, I've been raped and now I'm going to go sit in a court room and be sentenced?"
Tony Simmons, a family court-appointed juvenile counselor, is expected to receive probation instead of jail time when he is sentenced next week after raping one girl and sexually assaulting two others -- all 15 or 16 years of age. The light sentence is part of a plea deal that has been arranged by the judge, Cassandra Mullens, and lawyers for both the prosecution and the defense.
"If the judge was for justice, she wouldn't have went with this plea deal," said the young victim.
Davis Bookstaver, spokesperson for the New York State court system, placed the blame directly on District Attorney Cy Vance, who has refused to comment. "[Judge Mullen] was told they had had problems proving a 5-year-old case . . . Judges rely on experts, in this case the DA's Office," Bookstaver said in a statement.
News of the plea deal enfuriated members of the National Organization for Women, whose members gathered around the court Tuesday, chanting, "Rape is not a joke, give women hope."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun