'OUTRAGEOUS': Jefferson County judge rips colleague's decision to jail alleged domestic violence victim
"I really can't wrap my brain around this one," Judge Williams said. "It's not rare that a victim recants. It's rare that they're ever locked up for it."
Monday, June 15th 2015, 4:08 PM EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --
In an unusual rebuke of one sitting judge to another, Jefferson District Court Judge Erica Williams said in court Friday that Judge Sheila Collins' move to lock up an alleged victim of domestic violence was “outrageous" and “unprecedented.”
“This shouldn't happen in court,” Williams said of J
“What happened to you is, quite frankly, outrageous. I'm appalled at what happened to you. I'm appalled at how you were treated. …What happened to you should never, ever happen to a victim.”
Williams dismissed the case and went on to apologize to Stone, saying it was “disgusting” how she was treated and “I'm really trying to contain my temper on this.
“I understand frustration happens on the bench but that does not mean you take it out on anyone else," Williams said of Collins. "If you are having a bad day, step off.”
In a short phone interview, Collins
said the original domestic violence case was still pending, so she could not comment.
Asked specifically about
Asked specifically about
the comments made by Williams, Collins said, "I would love to tell you how I feel about them, but I don't think I can."
In another rarity, the Jefferson County Attorney's Office and public defenders joined forces to request that Stone's case be dismissed, saying there was an injustice done. They said the reason Stone recanted was because she was afraid after Lomac Jeter, her boyfriend, called her from jail.
"Lie to the court, lie to the prosecutor, tell them you are not pregnant, if you get in trouble for lying I will get you out of it," a prosecutor claimed the boyfriend said on a recording.
She spent more than five hours in jail after being arrested following a bond reduction hearing Thursday for Jeter, who was accused of beating Stone.
During the hearing, Stone told Collins that she made up the story, changing the statements she gave to a police officer.
“There's no marks, no scratches, no anything because no hands was put on me,” said Stone.
“So he [the officer] made up all that then?” asked Judge Collins.
“Yes,” Stone responded.
“He made up all that stuff?” asked Collins.
made up all that stuff,” said Stone.
When Stone also denied an earlier sworn statement that she is pregnant, Judge Collins had had enough. “Is that the sworn affidavit? Sheriff, take her into custody.”
Collins charged Stone, who did not have an attorney present, with making false statements.
Williams said Friday it is not rare for a victim to recant, but it is highly unusual for them to be locked up for it.
“I hope this does not have a chilling effect” on domestic abuse victims, she said. “If this is the way you are going to be treated, why would you report anything?”
After dismissing the case and ordering it expunged, or erased from the record, Williams called Stone to the bench and again apologized for Collins.
"She shouldn't have done that to you," Williams said. "And that's a colleague of mine but I'm saying it just that flat. It's wrong."
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