A Montana defense attorney has recently come under fire for trying to blame a 13-year-old girl for her own rape. Fortunately, the presiding judge in the case did not take too kindly to attorney’s argument.
According to sources, it all began at a teenage addiction recovery center in Missoula, Montana. The teenage girl, whose name will remain anonymous, presumably checked herself in to gain assistance in overcoming a drug addiction. Justin Griffith, a 26-year-old male who worked at the center, then took advantage of her when she was at her lowest.
Many Americans, myself included, believe that predators like this are the worst kind of scum. This poor teenage girl likely came from an abusive household, and was on the streets struggling with a drug addiction—and in her time of need, she was brutally raped by the very man who was supposed to help her.
Attorney Lisa Kauffman, the lawyer defending this man, started off by subtly hinting that the rape was the 13-year-old’s own fault. “She looks and acts like she’s 18 years old,” Miss Kauffman told District Court Judge Robert Deschamps. “You should see the pictures of her and the hair and the makeup.”
Kauffman also argued that Griffith, the rapist, did not have the “proper training,” not to sexually assault young girls. She claimed that a “wild atmosphere,” at the addiction recovery clinic contributed to the rapist’s actions, and he should not be held accountable due to this.
The Missoulian, a local newspaper, reports:
Over a prosecutor’s repeated protests, a defense attorney suggested sexual assault victims could be “temptresses” during a sentencing hearing Monday for a man who assaulted a 13-year-old girl.
“She looks and acts like she’s 18 years old,” attorney Lisa Kauffman told Missoula County District Court Judge Robert “Dusty” Deschamps. “You should see the pictures of her and the hair and the makeup.”
The girl’s assailant, Justin Griffith, 26, worked at the teenage addiction recovery center in Missoula where the girl was a patient.
This isn’t the first time that Griffith has been involved in a sexual scandal, however. Two years ago, in April of 2015, he was charged with sexual intercourse without consent—Montana’s law for rape. Prosecutors offered a plea bargain, amending the charge to felony sexual assault in May.
Griffith was clearly a repeat offender who has a history of taking advantage of defenseless women, and thankfully, Judge Robert “Dusty” Deschamps saw right through his lies. “I just find this whole conversation offensive,” he said in response to Kauffman blaming the 13-year-old for her own rape.
Deschamps said he could envision a scenario where a sexually active teenager could seduce some older, inexperienced man, but said everything in Griffith’s file showed he had a significant number of sexual partners and didn’t think his situation lined up with what Kauffman was portraying.
“He’s been around the block and he knows the score,” Judge Deschamps said. In the end, he imposed a 20 year sentence for the rapist, with 16 years suspended. In addition, he urged Griffith to complete sexual offender treatment while in custody, and that he continue such treatment during the suspended portion of his sentence.